2020 has been a year of chaos, but especially for the cast of Vanderpump Rules. For the uninitiated, Vanderpump Rules is a truly fantastic reality show about L.A.-based waiters and bartenders trying to break into the biz, but who are frequently distracted by infighting and infidelity. When the show first aired back in 2013, the stars were all living month-to-month in dingy West Hollywood apartments. Now, after eight seasons, they’ve racked up enough reality TV paychecks and Fit Tea sponsorships to afford multimillion-dollar houses in Los Angeles, according to Refinery29. Season 8 started on a high note as the couples settled into their new McMansions and finally quit their restaurant jobs.
As the saying goes, though, “the higher they climb, the harder they fall.” By the end of Season 8, Vanderpump land was in chaos. Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute and newcomers Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni were given the axe by Bravo for racist behavior. The show, which usually films in the summer, was put on hold indefinitely due to COVID-19 making filming in a restaurant setting impossible. Then in December 2020, news broke that Jax Taylor and his wife Brittany Cartwright would also not be returning for another season.
Now, it turns out that Ariana Madix and Tom Sandoval, who usually stay above the fray, aren’t immune to the controversy that follows the cast around. Read on to find out why Ariana and Tom are facing legal ramifications for their cocktail book.
Tom and Ariana could be in serious trouble
Tom Sandoval and longtime partner Ariana Madix found themselves in hot water in December 2020 when their business partner filed suit against them. Let’s back up to 2019, though. Tom and Ariana released a book called Fancy AF Cocktails: Drink Recipes from a Couple of Professional Drinkers, a nod to the years they spent working as bartenders in West Hollywood. The book became a source of drama for the couple’s storyline on the show. Now, the book is a source of real-life drama for the couple.
Alison Baker filed suit against the couple in December 2020, nearly five years after she claims she pitched it to Ariana as a book written from the star’s “perspective,” per E! News. Baker alleged that Ariana agreed to pay her 45 percent of the advance and royalties and co-author credit when the book was published. That book was never published, though, because, according to Baker, Tom became “jealous” of her work with Ariana and suggested the three of them publish a book together — “based on the existing concept” — and split the profits equally. Now that the book has been published, Baker is suing the couple for allegedly infringing on her original concept and for not paying her 45 percent of the advance they agreed upon.
As for Tom and Ariana, they adamantly deny any wrongdoing. “The allegations presented are false and frivolous,” Tom and Ariana told E! News. “We will vigorously defend ourselves against these baseless claims.”
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