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Tom Sandoval Says He's Prepared to Shoulder Public Hate 'for the Long Haul' After His Affair (Exclusive)

"This stuff stays with you for a while," the 'Vanderpump Rules' star exclusively told PEOPLE at the premiere of 'Special Forces: World's Toughest Test'

<p>Kevin Winter/Getty</p> Tom Sandoval attends the red carpet for Fox

Kevin Winter/Getty

Tom Sandoval attends the red carpet for Fox's "Special Forces: World's Toughest Test" at Fox Studio Lot on September 12, 2023 in Los Angeles, California

Tom Sandoval knows he’s still in the doghouse… and that he will be for a long time.

The Vanderpump Rules star, 40, isn’t dancing around the question of when he will no longer face public backlash following his months-long affair with costar Rachel “Raquel” Leviss that ended his nine-year relationship with Ariana Madix.

“I would say that it's probably going to get worse before it gets better and don’t think for a second, ‘Oh, give it a week, give it a couple weeks, whatever,’” Sandoval told PEOPLE while promoting his latest reality project, season 2 of Fox's Special Forces: World's Toughest Test.

“No, this stuff stays with you for a while. I'm in this for the long haul. I know it,” he reiterated.

Related: 'Special Forces' Trailer: Tom Sandoval Wanted 'a Beating' After Cheating and Bode Miller Mourns Lost Daughter

<p>Tammie/AFF-USA/Shutterstock; Cindy Ord/Bravo via Getty Images; Charles Sykes/Bravo via Getty Images</p> Ariana Madix, Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss

Tammie/AFF-USA/Shutterstock; Cindy Ord/Bravo via Getty Images; Charles Sykes/Bravo via Getty Images

Ariana Madix, Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss

As a result of the backlash, the TomTom bar co-owner knew it would be difficult to film the upcoming 11th season of the Emmy-nominated Bravo reality series after his secret relationship with Leviss, 28, became public knowledge in March.

“This season for Vanderpump Rules will definitely be very hard [to watch] and was really hard to film,” the reality star confirmed of wrapping production last month.

However, Sandoval teased that he was “pleasantly surprised with some of my fellow castmates on Vanderpump Rules.”

Related: Lala Kent Gives Inside Scoop on 'Strangest Season' of 'Vanderpump Rules' Yet — and Teases a 'Twist'

“I'm really excited about this show because I feel like you're going to see a different side to everyone,” he continued. “One thing that was really great about doing this show that I didn't see coming was the inspiration and stuff that I got from just hearing people's stories and the hardships that they've gone through in their own lives.”

“That really puts things in perspective and sometimes it can help rearrange your priorities in life and what's really important,” added the Schwartz & Sandy’s co-owner.

Both Sandoval and Madix, 37, appeared in front of the cameras this summer to film the upcoming season of VPR. However, the Something About Her co-owner declared ahead of time that she refused to film with her ex.

<p>Amanda Edwards/Getty</p> Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix

Amanda Edwards/Getty

Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix

Related: Ariana Madix and Tom Sandoval Are All Smiles Filming 'VPR' Together 5 Months After Bitter Split

"I have nothing to say to either of them," she told The New York Times of Sandoval and Leviss in May. "Our show is very real and follows a real group of friends, and neither of them are in the group of friends, so, good luck."

However, Leviss will not return for season 11 of Vanderpump Rules. The former SUR server shared with Bethenny Frankel on her Just B podcast last month that she has a “lot” of regrets and “would do everything differently if I had the chance to go back.”

“I really just wanna acknowledge that a lot of people were believing in me and I feel like I was a disappointment to those people,” she said. “I know that there was a lot of trust that was broken between friendships and betrayal that happened.”

She added, “I look back at my actions and I’m disappointed in myself as well. That is not the person that I want to be. I wasn’t happy. I was really hurting.”

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