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Tom Schwartz Almost Quit Vanderpump Rules And We Wish He Had

"Vanderpump Rules" is populated exclusively by beautiful idiots who love screaming at each other — and amidst the fray of said beautiful idiots, we find Tom Schwartz.(Here's where I warn you that there are two guys named Tom on this show, so if you're not familiar with "Vanderpump Rules," take note of that.) Schwartz has been a part of the core cast since the very first episode — but he recently told Rolling Stone that, in the aftermath of the enormous scandal that was ultimately dubbed "Scandoval," he thought about leaving the show.

When asked, Schwartz said that at one point he was at an emotional low, especially because a business he shares with Tom Sandoval — Schwartz & Sandy's — was at risk post-Scandoval. "The future of the bar was questionable at best; I had sunk so much money in there, and I felt so bleak and despondent," he said. "There might have been a few hopeless moments, even though it might have just been a performative thing, where I was like, 'I think I'm good. I think I'm ready to step away and pursue something new. I can't deal with this anymore.'"

"But I would wake up the next day and be like, wait, I love this. I love my Bravo family," Schwartz continued. "I love the people that I get to work with. These are my friends, and these are my family. I don't think of us as just a cast. I freaking love these people. 'Till death do us part."

That's nice and all, but Schwartz should have left "Vanderpump Rules." He no longer serves a purpose on the show, and honestly? He's just sort of a bummer to watch.

Who - or what, or why - is Tom Schwartz?

Elsewhere in the interview, Tom Schwartz tries to clarify what exact purpose he even serves on "Vanderpump Rules." As he put it, "I'm not Tom Sandoval's sidekick, I'm not just Katie [Maloney]'s ex-husband. I'm Tom Schwartz." In my estimation, all three of those things can be true simultaneously. So let's investigate these statements. Who is Tom Schwartz?

Schwartz is a man whose primary job is having conversations on camera, overindulging at bars and parties, and then talking directly into said camera for confessionals. He only joined the show originally as Maloney's boyfriend and thus was tied to a cast member right from the start. He "owns" two bars with Tom Sandoval — Tom Tom and Schwartz & Sandy's — although "owns" is a strong word, particularly because Lisa Vanderpump and her husband Ken Todd certainly own more of Tom Tom than he does. 

He shares custody of his two dogs, Gordo and Butters, with his ex-wife Maloney. He loves Coors Lights and, throughout the show, he has poured drinks on multiple people, including former cast member Stassi Schroeder (at her birthday party) and his then-girlfriend Maloney (whom he was admonishing for being "too drunk" at the time). He is also, unquestionably, Sandoval's sidekick. For God's sake, when they arrived at the grand opening of Tom Tom, Sandoval was driving a white motorcycle to commemorate the occasion. Guess who was hanging out in the sidecar?

Tom Schwartz's role in Scandoval is both forgettable and unforgivable

Really, the bigger issue with Tom Schwartz and his lifelong bro Tom Sandoval — and the bond between the pair — is the fact that Schwartz played a very active role in Scandoval. As a quick reminder, that nickname — coined by journalist Hannah Selinger — refers to the affair between Tom Sandoval and former "Vanderpump Rules" cast member Rachel "Raquel" Leviss, which went on for several months right under the collective noses of cameras, production, and Ariana Madix (Sandoval's girlfriend of nine years and Leviss' friend). So what role did Schwartz play? It seems complicated ... but it's quite simple. Schwartz was an accomplice who helped Sandoval cover up his constant indiscretions.

Though the two denied it, the truth ultimately came to light — which is that Schwartz knew about Leviss and Sandoval's affair as soon as it began. The two men went on a trip with Leviss and Schwartz's fling-turned-friend (who recently made her "Vanderpump" debut in Season 11) to Big Bear, California, before news of the affair even broke in March 2023. Plus, when Season 10 kicked off in January of that year, audiences were already in a tizzy over Schwartz and Leviss striking up a potential romance — something that, understandably, bothered Katie Maloney and was poised to become a major plot point. It now definitely seems as if Schwartz was serving as a decoy while Sandoval and Leviss carried on together. 

Schwartz can whine to Rolling Stone all he wants about how his identity is all tied up in Scandoval, but it's his fault that he agreed to cover up for his friend's crappy behavior.

It's time for Schwartz to prove his worth or leave Vanderpump Rules for good

At this point, Tom Schwartz's role on "Vanderpump Rules" is as a feeble would-be mediator, desperately trying to broker peace between the disgraced Tom Sandoval and literally everybody else. (In a scene from Season 11, Episode 4, Schwartz tells Sandoval to go on the mandated cast trip and be contrite; Sandoval fires back that he's mad at his former friends for being mean about his affair. Clearly, Schwartz's attempts are going great.) 

Schwartz still shares custody of his two dogs with Katie Maloney, so they occasionally have to cross paths, and he always chooses whichever option will inevitably irritate Maloney the most (frankly, her inability to put up with him post-divorce is my favorite thing about the show right now). In that same episode, he did have a heartfelt chat with Lala Kent — with whom he's regularly found himself at odds — and the two seemed to make up. Still, is any of this vital to the show? Absolutely not.

Schwartz is in his 40s, and yet he's still launching himself off a roof into a pool alongside the younger James Kennedy. The more he appears on "Vanderpump Rules," the more obvious it is that he's superfluous. He's not going to get back into the good graces of either Maloney or Ariana Madix; he's not going to convince Sandoval that apologizing might be a good idea. If his biggest (upcoming) contribution to the series is to dye his hair blond, that's simply not enough. Schwartz is no longer bringing sexy unique drama; it's time for him to go — though if he really wants, he could join former cast members Jax Taylor, Brittany Cartwright-Taylor, and Kristen Doute on the upcoming spin-off "The Valley."

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).