If you've been watching this season of Vanderpump Rules, you already know that Stassi, Kristen, and Katie are fighting, but what's going on between the Witches of WeHo isn’t even the most explosive strife on the show. Longtime friends Jax Taylor and Tom Sandoval are also at odds, and like the tension between the girls, this beef isn’t just for the camera.
Jax and Tom have been friends for over 20 years; the reality stars met when they first moved to Los Angeles as bright-eyed twenty-somethings in search of fame and fortune. Working at SUR as bartenders, the pair grew closer, facing both highs (Jax’s engagement to Brittany Taylor) and lows (Jax sleeping with Kristen, Tom’s girlfriend at the time) together. Unfortunately, that brotherly bond appears to be completely broken, and I’m just going to say it: I feel like it’s Jax’s fault.
When the crew discovered that the pastor charged with officiating Brittany and Jax’s Kentucky wedding had shared a number of homophobic and transphobic posts on social media, everyone wondered why the engaged couple hadn’t spoken up. Head honcho Lisa Vanderpump made a point to confront Jax and Brittany, but by the time the pair had hired a new officiant (*NSYNC’s very own Lance Bass), several people in the crew felt that it was too little, too late.
Among them was Tom, who had a very personal reason to be frustrated with his friends. Just two episodes ago, Tom's girlfriend Ariana Madix celebrated her very first Pride as an out bisexual woman. For Ariana, who had just come out of the closet after years of wrestling with her sexuality, seeing Jax and Brittany seemingly feign ignorance about the pastor's derogatory social media posts was triggering — why couldn't they understand that?
Instead of empathizing with Ariana and Tom's feelings, Jax flew off the handle, with Brittany egging him on ("Knock him the fuck out!" she literally screamed during their argument). Jax took Tom's concerns personally, so personally that the TomTom co-owner was demoted (again) from best man and officially disinvited from the wedding with only a week left to go.
Brittany and Jax are now married — they tied the knot last summer when season 8 was filmed — and Tom was part of their bridal party, so it's possible that the friends patched things over in the week before the wedding. But whether they actually made up or just made nice for the sake of their friend circle, Tom and Jax's truce doesn't appear to be a permanent fix.
Right now, a quick glance at Jax's social media reveals that he's harboring some very negative feelings about Tom. Especially thanks to a series of tweets posted after the pastor episode aired. "Hey let's wait till we have a part for poor Peter who just wants to have a good time, and the cameras are up to bring this up... you had all day to talk to me about this. Purely ruined the party so you could get attention in my opinion," Jax wrote on February 19.
Jax also took aim at Tom's relationship with TomTom co-owner Tom Schwartz, writing, "He constantly belittles Tom Schwartz and puts him down regarding his home, his marriage, how he handles his business, but yeah he's a good friend? Are we watching the same show?" He also claimed that Tom "only does things for tv so he looks good," quipping that Tom's defenders "live in a fantasy world."
Hey let’s wait till we have a party for poor Peter who just wants to have a good time, and the cameras are up to bring this up... you had all day to talk to me about this. Purely ruined the party so you could get attention in my opinion.— Jax (@mrjaxtaylor) February 19, 2020
Tom for the most part, has held his tongue, but in a recent interview with Us Magazine, he shared his take on the demise of his relationship with Jax. "Jax will say that I’m doing everything for the wrong reasons," Tom said. "Try to discredit me in any way he can...what’s most upsetting is when Jax says things that he knows are not true just to try to hurt me."
As for why he felt like it was important to confront Jax about his problematic pastor in the first place, the reality star explained it as a character thing. "Again authenticity is important to me," Tom claimed. "And anything I ever do and say on the show is to be truthful, open and honest about my life and how I am feeling.”
We still have a ways to go before season eight of Vanderpump Rules wraps with what I'm predicting will be a chaotic cast reunion, but it's safe to say that this brotherhood may be broken. Can't say I didn't see this coming though.