- “Vanderpump Rules” star Ariana Madix and her new boyfriend, Daniel Wai, appear to be getting more serious.
- Madix was catapulted to the spotlight after her ex, Tom Sandoval, cheated on her with their friend Raquel Leviss.
- Wai is a fitness trainer and influencer who’s been showering Madix with public displays of affection.
Ariana Madix has always been a fan-favorite among “Vanderpump Rules” viewers, but the reality star was catapulted into a wider spotlight when her ex-boyfriend Tom Sandoval’s months-long affair with their friend Raquel Leviss became national news.
The relationship drama, dubbed Scandoval, began unfolding in early March when TMZ first reported that Madix had dumped Sandoval after discovering he was cheating on her. In the months since, Madix has been flooded with public support, brand deals, merch sales, and a brand-new boyfriend.
Here’s everything we know about Madix’s new relationship with Daniel Wai.
Who is Daniel Wai?
According to his LinkedIn profile, Wai attended Virginia Tech and majored in computer science, with a secondary degree in business and a minor in mathematics. He graduated in 2005.
He worked for several consulting firms before deciding to take the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) test to become a certified personal trainer and work as a trainer full-time.
On his training website, he said his desire to focus on physical fitness had been with him since he was 13.
“As a typical teenager, I was insecure with my size and strength and decided to incorporate exercise and physical fitness into my life, and it has been a large part of my life ever since,” he said.
In addition to training clients, Wai is also a fitness influencer. Wai posts fitness content, including his workouts and meal prep, and advertises his services on his Instagram account @thestrongwai, where he has over 56,000 followers.
Madix and her new boyfriend were first linked in April when they attended Coachella together
Madix and Wai were seen looking cozy together while attending the first weekend of Coachella an annual event that Madix has attended for years. The two went to the music festival with a larger group of their mutual friends, including Madix’s “Vanderpump Rules” costar and BFF Scheana Shay, Shay’s husband Brock Davies, “Vanderpump” alum Dayna Kathan, and others.
People reported that Wai and Madix were seen “kissing and holding hands” during Coachella.
Wai shared a video montage of the group’s Coachella adventures on April 18, including several shots that hinted at his romance with Madix. Notable among them was a picture of the two appearing to hold hands while getting IV infusions and a photo of the two wearing matching sneakers with Madix on her tip-toes.
Madix and Wai were also photographed kissing when she dropped him off at LAX post-Coachella, according to pictures obtained by TMZ.
A source told People at the time that the relationship wasn’t serious. “Ariana just got out of a long relationship and isn’t jumping into anything serious,” the source said. “What you’re seeing is a woman who is single and having fun.”
Wai celebrated his birthday with Madix in early May
Things appear to have gotten much more serious.
In the months since their romance began, Madix and Wai have been enjoying a bi-coastal romance. Madix is based in Los Angeles but has frequently traveled to New York City for press commitments and to spend time with Wai, according to the pair’s Instagram activity.
Wai posted another Instagram montage on May 5, shouting out Madix and thanking her for his birthday festivities in New York. The two attended a birthday dinner with friends and went to a New York Yankees game together.
That month, a source told People that Madix has “been telling people in her circle that she’s falling in love” with Wai.
“It’s happening faster than she thought, but he treats her well, they’re having fun, and she’s happy to be moving on to this next chapter with such an incredible guy,” the source told People.
Madix said she and Wai met ‘about ten days’ after Scandoval broke
Madix addressed her new relationship in several interviews during her recent “Vanderpump Rules” press tour.
“I met Daniel at a wedding about ten days after all of this. Two of my oldest and dearest friends that I met, like, 20 years ago almost, got married,” she said in a May interview with Today.com.
“You know, I’m enjoying myself, and I would say I’m very happy right now,” Madix told Hoda Kotb during her May 18 “Today” show appearance. She also told Kotb that Wai’s personality was his best feature and that “it’s just really lovely to interact with someone who is so nice and kind and caring.”
During her “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen” appearance the night of the “Vanderpump Rules” season 10 finale on May 17, Madix played coy when Cohen asked about her new relationship: “I’ll just say that I am very happy and very satisfied.”
Madix and Wai aren’t shy about PDA on social media
The new couple hasn’t officially labeled their relationship, but they regularly comment on one another’s Instagram posts. Madix, in particular, has commented on several of Wai’s workout videos, dropping an eyes emoji on a video of Wai completing a grueling quad workout and writing “leg day” in the comments on a photo of Wai climbing ruins on his recent trip to Mexico.
On June 11, Wai posted about surprising Madix with several of their friends joining them in New York City to attend the Governors Ball music festival.
“She thought she was coming here for a dinner,” Wai captioned the post. Wai’s Instagram story shows video clips from Madix’s early birthday dinner ahead of her June 24 birthday.