Back in December, we reported that James Kennedy and Raquel Leviss had broken up after five years together.
At the time, the Vanderpump Rules stars confirmed that they had called off their engagement, but neither offered any specifics with regard to the cause of their split.
That changed today in a big way.
Appearing on castmate Scheana Schay’s “Scheananigans” podcast, Raquel revealed that she was the one who pulled the plug on this relationship.
And she went into painstaking detail about exactly what prompted her to call it quits.
“My intentions with this podcast are not to bash James in any way,” the 27-year-old said on Friday.
“I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings.”
Leviss says there were many factors in her decision, but the straw that broke the camel’s back was an incident that took place at her parents’ house on Thanksgiving.
“James has always felt like my parents haven’t embraced him into the family the way he wanted to be accepted. My dad said some rude comment to him about him not wearing the hiking shoes he bought him when James asked for my dad’s blessing,” she explained.
“James was taken aback. He took it very personally. He took it as a knock to his ego and reacted in a way my sister says was not acceptable. And I agree, it wasn’t,” Raquel continued.
“Just like very angry and defensive and it go to the point where I was like, ‘Okay, we need to get out of here, go back to our hotel room and sort it all out.’
“The future of Thanksgivings and Christmases and holidays was looking like it was going to be either James or my family. Especially like if we had a baby, James would make my parents out as like the not good grandparents and kind of put that in their heads,” Leviss said on Friday.
“Foreseeing this future and what it was all coming down to [I realized] I don’t want that.”
Raquel says she was afraid to break up with James due to his notorious temper, but when the time came, the split went smoothly.
“He was calm. He was listening to me. I was preparing for the worst, and it was the best possible outcome, I guess, that it could have been,” she recalled.
“Because he really did listen to me and was understanding of where I was coming from,” Leviss continued.
“He respected my decision. He was like, ‘If your heart isn’t in it anymore then I understand. we need to go our separate ways.’”
Raquel says she was partially inspired by the recent breakup of Lala Kent and Randall Emmett.
“When I heard Randall [Emmett] and Lala [Kent] broke up, I was surprised but then also a little relieved for her,” Leviss told Shay.
“Then I felt this feeling, not of jealousy, but envy knowing that she’s going to be OK. She’s going to be perfectly fine without Randall,” Leviss recalls.
Raquel says that shortly after Lala and Rand called it quits, a friend of hers called to say she was getting divorced.
“Why do I feel like we’re next?” James asked at the time.
James didn’t realize it yet, but Raquel already knew that they would be.
“Because James does have a history of acting out and being angry, my mom and I were both concerned that he wasn’t going to have a good reaction when I told him,” Raquel told Scheana on Friday.
“So I wasn’t planning on saying anything until he went out of town. He doesn’t even know this. My mom advised me to pretend like everything is fine.”
“There wasn’t one thing exactly [that led to the split],” she explained.
“James has always felt like my parents haven’t embraced him into the family the way that he wanted to be,” Raquel continued.
“I found myself making excuses for him [after an argument he had with my dad]. It was getting to the point where my family and him were not meshing well.”
Leviss says she was forced to put on an act when she and James went to Disneyland with castmates Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix over Thanksgiving weekend.
“I felt like I had to put on an act for that, just to make sure that I was safe,” the TV personality continued.
“Disneyland just isn’t as fun when you aren’t in love with the person that you’re with anymore, so it wasn’t my favorite experience. I’m so happy that Ariana and Tom came.”
Interestingly, Raquel finally broke the news to James while the two of them were watching a recent episode of Vanderpump Rules.
“[We watched] the scene where Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz were having their breakup and James laughs and he’s like, ‘Why couldn’t I have a funny story line?’ And I was like ‘Seriously, you could have if you wanted to,’” she recalled.
“He’s like, ‘What the hell does that mean? … Tell me what you mean by that.’
“I told him, ‘Well, you have control over your actions and you decided that you were going to make whatever story line about, not that it was about me, but it wasn’t supporting me emotionally the way that I needed to be supported.
“The conversation just kept going and it was like word vomit,” she continued.
“So I just told him, ‘My heart isn’t in it anymore. I don’t appreciate the way that you treat other people. it’s not how I treat other people. And a piece of me dies inside each time you mistreat somebody.’”
Raquel says James did ask for another chance, but she stuck to her guns.
“I gave you another chance. And that led us here,” to which Kennedy replied, “OK, I see it in your eyes. It’s over.”
As for their status these days, Leviss says the split has been mostly amicable.
“We are still speaking occasionally. We are still friendly with one another,” she says.
“We still follow each other on Instagram and like each others’ posts,” Leviss adds.
“My goal would be to maintain a friendship with him because he was my best friend for so long and it’s really difficult to just cut that off and pretend it never happen. Because it did happen.”
Raquel concluded by saying she wishes nothing but the best for her ex-fiance:
“We spent so much time with each other and he was the love of my life at one point, but more than that he was my best friend and we shared everything together,” she said.
“We are going to try our best to be friends.”
We hope they can be successful in that goal.