DJ James Kennedy started out on Vanderpump Rules as a young busboy. At the time of his entrance on the show during Season 3, he was dating longtime cast member Kristen Doute. However, James has grown a lot since then. He’s now a nationally touring DJ, and he’s been in a steady relationship with beauty queen Raquel Leviss for four years. There have been ups and downs in the couple’s history, and Season 8 of Vanderpump Rules only promises more drama for the two lovebirds. What has happened in their relationship? Are these SUR employees still together? Keep reading to find out.
According to Bravo, James and Raquel first met at an NYE party that he was DJing. At the time, Raquel was still a college student at Sonoma State University. She was also a beauty queen and had competed in numerous pageants. When she and James met, Raquel had no affiliation with the Vanderpump Rules, and she even said she had never heard of the show. Prior to meeting Raquel, James had an on-and-off flirty relationship with his fellow reality show cast member Lala Kent as well as a long term relationship with co-star Kristen Doute.
During filming for Season 5 of Vanderpump Rules, two friends of the show accused James of cheating on Raquel. Fellow SUR employee GG was the first to accuse James of cheating. Later, she was joined by Ellie, a friend of Lala’s. Ellie even had photos to prove that James had slept with her while Raquel was away at school. The two ladies ambushed the budding DJ and his girlfriend during one of James’s sets. Both Raquel and James denied the accusations.
Fans of Vanderpump Rules know that Gay Pride is an important, drama-filled occasion for any employee of Lisa Vanderpump. In Season 6, DJ James Kennedy was caught on camera acting extra flirty with his close gay male friend, Logan Noh, during the SUR Pride celebration. In fact, James seemed to be ignoring Raquel in favor of Logan. From there, rumors started to spread about the nature of their relationship, and James’s sexuality was called into question. Many viewers argued that he had more chemistry with Logan than with Raquel.
I sense Logan and James will be the hot couple this season. Just sayin #PumpRules
— christopher gomez (@chrisgsound) December 5, 2017
Later in the season, Logan even confessed to the show’s Southern belle, Brittany Cartwright, that he and James had been sleeping together. However, when confronted by James, Logan backtracked and admitted to having lied about their relationship in order to get more airtime. But was Logan just covering up for James when he said he lied? We may never know the truth. Either way, Raquel was frustrated that she had to continue to deal with accusations of infidelity.
Still, James and Raquel’s relationship wasn’t all bad during Season 6. In fact, when James perceived that Lala Kent was taking advantage of his girlfriend, the former SUR busboy quickly jumped to Raquel’s defense, sparking one of the most memorable moments in the show’s history as he shouted about pasta.
— Hollyshook: A Celebrity Scandal Podcast (@HollyshookPod) January 30, 2018
By the time Vanderpump Rules had started to film Season 7, in the summer of 2018, Raquel had graduated college and moved into an apartment with James in West Hollywood. The two were excited to start their lives together and were hoping for a fresh start after their tumultuous past.
However, it seemed that the two just couldn’t escape the drama as James, once again, was accused of cheating on Raquel. This time, a girl named Hope insisted that James cheated on Raquel while they were all at Coachella together. She asserted that James slept with her while Raquel was sleeping nearby. James once again denied the rumors, but the event sparked a major blow out between himself and the rest of the Vanderpump Rules cast. This made it hard for Raquel to find her footing on the show. When she and James adopted an adorable puppy together, Raquel wanted to throw a “puppy shower” party to welcome their new furry friend into their home. However, due to the tenuous relationship between James and the rest of the Vanderpump Rules cast, very few guests came to Raquel’s party.
Ultimately, James lost his job at SUR due to his poor behavior. He had been fired from Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurants several times in the past, but this time seemed final.
Season 8 of Vanderpump Rules is currently airing, and Raquel has officially become a SURver as well as a full-time cast member. The season is still airing, so we can’t say for sure what’s in store for these two lovebirds, but the season trailer showed a blowout between James and Raquel. Throughout the series, James has struggled with abusing alcohol. The other Vanderpump Rules cast members have said that James becomes aggressive and belligerent when he drinks. As of this month, however, James will be 8 months sober.
It seems as though sobriety has been exactly what James and Raquel needed in their relationship because, despite their argument during filming, the reality stars appear stronger and more in love than ever before. We can’t say what the rest of Season 8 will have in store for these two, but it seems that they’re ready to put their troubling past behind them.
Catch James and Raquel on Season 8 of Vanderpump Rules, currently airing every Tuesday night on Bravo at 9/8c.