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Southern Charm’s Thomas Ravenel quits; two women accused him of sexual assault

Thomas Ravenel, a cast member on Bravo’s Southern Charm for all five seasons, says he’s quitting the show. Earlier this summer, he was accused of sexually assaulting two different women. He did not appear on the reunion, which aired in July, and reports in June suggested he’d been dropped from the reality show.

BuzzFeed News’ Kate Aurthur tweeted that “Bravo has no comment” “yet,” and “is deferring to the police investigation of him on the rape accusation.”

When he didn’t appear on the reunion, host Andy Cohen read a statement from his lawyers that said, in part, “Along with Bravo, our client made the mutual decision not to attend today’s reunion taping as there is a pending investigation.”

Today, before making his Twitter account inaccessible, Thomas tweeted,

“I’m not doing the show anymore. In the contract they have the right to fictionalize your story. They took advantage of me. I decided I’ve got too much to lose and informed them I’m not coming back.”

Saying Bravo “took advantage” is a terrible choice of words for someone accused of raping two women.

Sexual assault allegations against Thomas Ravenel

In April, Ashley Perkins wrote that her mother was sexually assaulted by Ravenel after meeting him on Tinder and going on an Oct. 2015 date with him.

When her mother returned home, Perkins wrote, her mother’s “wrist was cut and already showing signs of bruising”; she told her daughter about the assault, and “was in shock and not acting like herself for days.”

Debbie Holloway Perkins later settled with him for $200,000, according to her daughter, who said she was present for mediation and “did NOT sign a Non Disclosure,” which her mother did.

That story prompted the nanny for Ravenel’s two young children—”Nanny Dawn,” as she’s known on the show—to come forward with the story of a January 2015 incident.

She has now reported it to Charleston police, who are investigating him for “forcible rape.”

As Dawn told People, while his four-year-old was sleeping nearby, Ravenel attempted to kiss her. Then, she said, “I went upstairs to get my jacket which had the key to my vehicle in the pocket. I was corralled into the master bedroom and he shut the door behind me. I turned around and he had his pants dropped, not wearing underwear. He was blocking the door. I was mortified, embarrassed, and scared.”

Ravenel’s attorney, Richard P. Terbrusch, blamed his fame for both accusations, telling People:

“My client enjoys a certain degree of fame, which has unfortunately made him a vulnerable target for such claims. The person this woman describes is simply not the man that I know. My client is a loving father, successful businessman, and upright member of the community. He is appalled and hurt by these allegations—and is committed to defending his reputation in the appropriate legal forum.”

Bravo said, in an earlier statement, that the production company behind the show was investigating:

“Haymaker, the production company for Southern Charm, and Bravo take allegations like these very seriously. Haymaker is conducting an investigation, and once all the information is gathered and carefully reviewed, appropriate action will be taken.”

Ravenel is the former South Carolina treasurer; he resigned after being charged with buying and distributing cocaine, and was later sentenced to 10 months in prison.

In 2014, he told The State newspaper, “I’m not trying to say that wasn’t a stupid move, you know: Doing cocaine and sharing it? But, obviously, justice was not blind. I got a worse sentence than the drug dealer. How’s that work? He had a thousand customers. What happened to the other 999?”

In that same interview, he also said, “My personal life has always been my Achilles heel. The main thing that I want to stress is: It’s what you do in your public life that impacts other people. We all fight our own inner demons. We all get knocked down 1,000 times, but we get up 1,000 times, and I think that’s what important.”

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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