Why did Katie and Tom split after 12 years of marriage?

April 18, 2024
10 mins read

Tom Schwartz and Katie Maloney-Schwartz called it quits after 12 years of being together, which shocked many of their fans who’d followed their journey as a couple in the reality television series “Vanderpump Rules.” Their fights could be quite intense, but they always found ways to understand, forgive, and move on, so this latest development had people wondering why they gave up on each other.

About the show

“Vanderpump Rules” is a spin-off from the reality TV series, “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” and it premiered on 7 January 2013 on the Bravo cable channel owned by NBC Universal Television.

In “Vanderpump Rules,” the viewing public was introduced to Katie and five other attractive people who worked as bartenders or servers at SUR – Sexy Unique Restaurant – in West Hollywood, but with their hearts set on becoming popular models, musicians or actors.


Lisa Vanderpump, a British restaurateur made famous by her participation in “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” owned the establishment.

The staff had no inhibitions whatsoever, as they could do and say pretty much anything they wanted, and what made them great servers had nothing to do with their skills at waiting tables, but more with their crazy energy that the customers liked. Workplace romance was not prohibited or even frowned upon, as their boss lady said it was natural for good-looking people to want to date one another. Besides, if she fired one for sleeping with a co-worker, she would be left with no employees.

The TV show chronicled the daily lives of the staff, including all the dating, drinking, fighting and gossiping that took place at and away from work. Many had to wonder if the cast actually worked at SUR, but the owner said that part of the deal for being in the show was that they had to do legitimate restaurant work.


Naturally, while filming, they had to do what the production asked of them; the cast filmed three days a week for five months, and then two more months were spent promoting the show.

In its first season, their narrative revolved around Stassi Schroeder (server) and her relationship with Jax Taylor (bartender) as well as her dislike of SUR’s newest server, Scheana Shay for being a former paramour of the actor Eddie Cibrian, then-husband of Brandi Glanville of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” She’s the self-appointed leader of her posse, Kristen Doute and Katie (servers), who were both dating Jax’s friends, Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz (bartenders). Schwartz was a recurring guest for the first two seasons before becoming a series regular. As the series progressed, the viewers had the chance to get a closer look at the relationship between Katie and Tom Schwartz. HMM – confused already?


With the servers dating the bartenders, it would be easy to imagine how their personal lives could bring chaos to the restaurant, particularly when cheating and betrayals come to light. Things became complicated when couples broke up and then started dating people who also worked at SUR, or landed a job there after entering the relationship.

All the drama and craziness that went on hooked millions of people to tune in each week, season after season. Conflicts among the staff had been the cause of headaches and stress for the owner, many times having to intervene to address the issues that had been affecting their work. However, she could not really rein them in, as this was reality TV, and as the executive producer, it was important ‘to show the reality of their lives.’

Tom and Katie’s love story

Kristen Doute introduced Katie and Tom two years before the TV show began airing, and it wasn’t the typical meet-cute, as Tom brought a date that day. Katie found it funny, saying, ‘Finally, I’m meeting this guy that supposedly wants to meet me, that’s so perfect for me, and he’s got a girl with him.’

For his part, he said there was no spark on the first night they met, but it happened the next time they were introduced and he was given her backstory. They had their first official date at a Vampire Weekend Concert three months later.

As they continued to date, they kept things very casual and fondly called each other “Bubba.” The nickname began with “Babe” and it became “Baby,” “Bebe,” “Bubs” and then “Bubba,” which stuck as Tom said that it felt right. They both claimed to not want to be in a relationship, or to put a label on what they were to each other. It was Katie who later initiated taking what they have to the next level as she asked him to be her boyfriend to which he said, ‘Well, I don’t know if I’ll be a very good boyfriend, but I’m down to give it a shot.’ His reply had been good enough for her.

Tom dumped beer on Katie’s head

The viewing public was witness to how things could become crazy between them. In season two of “Vanderpump Rules,” the whole group went to Cabo, Mexico to celebrate Stassi’s 25th birthday.


Inviting Scheana whom Stassi’s posse hated had been a mistake, even more so when they refused to hang out with her and she was left with no choice but to be with the guys, which they didn’t like. Katie earned the nickname “Tequila Katie” that night, as she turned vile after having one too many drinks. She was angry and being irrational as she got into an argument with Tom for feeling bad for Scheana, and giving her a drink. He then lost his cool, and threw his beer in her face. ‘It was an asshole move and I never should have done that,’ he admitted.

The drama didn’t end there, as the pair ruined Stassi’s birthday dinner when they continued to argue, as Katie felt that he was invalidating her feelings. He then told her, ‘You give me anxiety on a constant basis, and you act like a moron,’ and that she made his life miserable. He later apologized for his behavior and wanted them to move on, which they did since they apparently loved each other.


Cheating on their partners

Kristen was hurt from being ‘exiled and quarantined’ by the group for cheating on her boyfriend, Tom Sandoval, when she said that everyone was doing the same thing, but she was the only one being punished for it. Someone pointed out to her that what she did was worse, as she slept with Jax, who was Sandoval’s best friend, and her best friend Stassi’s boyfriend.

She denied going out of her way to ruin her friends’ lives, even if she didn’t think twice about passing on information she heard from Jax and Scheana that Tom Schwartz cheated on Katie with two girls. At first Katie didn’t believe any of it, but when she told Tom about the cheating rumors, he came clean and admitted to being hammered, and making out with a girl after he had a big fight with Katie. However, he denied what Jax had said about him having sex with a girl in Las Vegas, only to later admit to waking up with that girl, but was too drunk to remember anything else.

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Jax thought he was doing Tom – whom he considered his brother and best friend – a favor by telling him that Katie cheated on him during a photoshoot, as she was kissing a guy on his neck and putting her mouth near his crotch area. However, Tom said that Jax was a chronic ‘truth-stretcher’ and had been on an anti-Katie crusade for the longest time. In his defense, Jax said that Tom often told him he wasn’t happy with Katie, as they were fighting all the time and not having sex, so he believed that the two shouldn’t be together. Tom believed Katie when she told him that nothing happened, and further said that he was happy with the way things were between them lately, so he didn’t want anything to ruin that.

Tom on delaying his marriage to Katie

Katie and Tom had been talking for a year and a half about getting a dog, but he hadn’t got around to it.


However, when he felt that she was putting the heat on with talks of engagement, marriage, and babies, it freaked him out, and thought that getting a puppy would buy him some time, at least a year, in delaying things. Tom said that when his friends such as Stassi became engaged, it put pressure on him to do the same thing. Katie was so happy when he surprised her with a one-year-old dog named Gordo, saying that they had become parents, and she considered it as one step forward.

Tom finally proposed to Katie, and Lisa Vanderpump hosted their engagement party at her place. As the two were discussing wedding expenses, he brought up the topic of signing a prenuptial agreement for practical reasons, even if he didn’t have assets he wanted to protect, except for his collection of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures and she only had a bit more money than him. She agreed, though didn’t understand why he wanted one, so they consulted a lawyer.

Saying “I Do” twice

Katie and Tom tied the knot in August 2016, at Twenty Mile House near Lake Tahoe within the forests of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which provided them with a beautiful rustic backdrop for the ceremony, officiated by Lisa Vanderpump. Tom said, ‘There’s no doubt in my mind that Katie is the one that I want to marry. I want to spend the rest of my life with her.’ He revealed that they still had issues they needed to work out, but he didn’t see it as a deterrent to having a happy life with her. He admitted to being cynical about the institution of marriage, but said that it felt really cool to call Katie his wife; they went to Bora Bora for their honeymoon.

Andy Cohen, who hosted the “Vanderpump Rules” reunions had said, ‘I think the shocker is that you go from all season thinking that this couple should absolutely not be together, to thinking that they should, and that was kind of crazy.’

Three years later, it was revealed that the paperwork wasn’t filed, so they weren’t legally married.

The couple headed to Las Vegas to make their wedding official in a western-themed ceremony.

On having kids

With their friends having babies, they had been asked several times when it would be their turn. Tom said, ‘As far as the timeline, I’m still non-committal, but I’m on the record — it’s official, we do want to have kids, and I love kids.’ He didn’t want to be an old dad, ‘I want to be able to run around with my kid and throw him over my shoulder and play ball with him. Or her.’

In 2021, when they were ready, he told his wife, ‘You’re gonna be such a good mom…There aren’t a lot of things I’m 100 percent sure about in life, but I’m 100 percent sure I’m gonna be a good dad.’

It was revealed that Katie had terminated a pregnancy during their first year of dating. She wanted to have kids, but knew it wasn’t the right time. Their relationship was rocky, and although she was willing to work things out, she was worried that he would leave and she would become a single mom.


Tom agreed that getting an abortion was the best decision at that time, as he only had $300 in his bank account, but he would have manned up.

After they visited a fertility clinic, it was said that Katie had a good follicle count in her ovaries, while Tom had low sperm morphology, which meant that it might take longer to father a child, or he might need help from a fertility specialist; he was then advised to reduce his alcohol intake and avoid marijuana use.

What happened to Katie and Tom?

The Schwartz couple had their share of ups and downs in their relationship, but they remained strong, so when news of their split spread like wildfire on social media, their fans were shocked.

On Katie’s 16 March 2022 Instagram post, she announced their break-up after 12 years of being in a relationship, and further said, ‘This ending is not met with resentment or animosity…We have deep admiration for one another that will always remain, and we cherish our friendship.’ She added that they would continue to support one another’s happiness.

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On that same day, Tom wrote, ‘Well, this sucks. How am I supposed to capture 12 years of love in a f**kin’ Instagram caption?’ He said he’s not ready to use the “D” word yet, as it was too painful for him. Tom knew he couldn’t ask people to respect their privacy, so all he was asking for was kindness. The public had been privy to their relationship for nine years through the TV show, and he wanted people not to judge them based on what they saw or heard, as they were just snippets of their lives. ‘I’m telling you, we had some of the most blissful, romantic, fun times humanely possible over the course of our relationship.’ Tom said that he would be okay and ended his post with ‘…luv you Bub. Always and forever, you’ll be in my heart.’

Back in 2021, Katie wanted to let people know that it was wrong to assume that they were always at odds with each other, and that Tom’s unhappy as she’s a ‘miserable shrew of a wife’ based on what was aired on the show. She said, ‘We don’t hide our fights. We have…pretty intense, horrific fights that, you know, suck… So you do see the worst of the worst, but that’s not like the constant daily for us.’


Tom admitted that there were times when he felt they weren’t going to make it, but he was glad they put in the work as he was happier than he had ever been.

So, what went wrong between them? Katie shared during her “You Are Going to Love Me” podcast the simple truth: ‘He was my person and I wanted to be with him forever, but ultimately, I just wasn’t happy.’ There was no huge fight or anything crazy that happened. What she had been feeling had been building up for months, and she realized that it wasn’t going to go away. She knew the time had come to make the most painful and difficult decision of her life, and that was to choose herself and her own happiness over her husband’s.

She told Tom about it, and he respected her decision and said, ‘It would be far sadder if she decided to stay with me whilst not happy.’ Katie officially filed for divorce a week after they revealed their separation to the public. It was reported that the court documents showed that the two separated on 12 February 2022, and the reason for the divorce was ‘irreconcilable differences.’ It was also revealed that the two hadn’t signed a prenuptial agreement after all.

Katie said, ‘It’s been emotional, for sure. But it’s also been in ways, peaceful and loving. The transition is so far going really well.’ She’s glad that they were ending their marriage as friends, as it would be heartbreaking if they ended up hating each other.

Martha Clifford

As an Author at Net Worth Post, I guide a dedicated team in the art of revealing the stories behind the world's most influential personalities. Fueled by a relentless curiosity and a knack for uncovering hidden stories, I immerse myself in the intricacies of our subjects' lives, weaving together accurate data and compelling narratives. My involvement spans the entire editorial process, from the seed of research to the final flourish of publication, ensuring that every article not only educates but also captivates and motivates our audience.

At Net Worth Post, we are committed to providing thorough investigations into the net worth and life achievements of innovators across diverse sectors such as technology, culture, and social entrepreneurship. My method merges meticulous research with eloquent storytelling, designed to bridge the gap between our readers and the remarkable individuals who redefine our tomorrow. Through spotlighting their journeys to success, the hurdles they've surmounted, and their contributions to society, we aim to give our readers a deep and inspiring insight into the luminaries who are paving the way for progress and ingenuity in the modern era.

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