Southern Charm's Thomas Ravenel Arrested Following Sexual Assault Claims

Photo: Courtesy of Rodolfo Martinez/Bravo.
Southern Charm star Thomas Ravenel will definitely not be returning for the sixth season of the hit Bravo series this fall, People confirms. The former South Carolina state treasurer was arrested and charged with alleged assault and battery in the second degree on Tuesday, according to the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office inmate records.
A public information officer for the Charleston Police Department did not release further details surrounding Ravenel’s arrest, though previously filed papers obtained by Refinery29 show that it was made in relation to a report made back in May of this year. At the time, a woman named Dawn Ledwell, who had served as a nanny for his two young children, came forward to accuse Ravenel of sexual assault. In the documents, the listed offenses are “sex offense” and “forcible rape.” The incident was said to have taken place back in 2015. Representation for Ravenel did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A big part of the reason Ledwell came forward, she told People at the time, was because of another women who spoke out about Ravenel’s alleged behavior. "This is not just about me. I'm a selfless person. This is about a lot of different women in this maybe a start, If you can take down somebody who has this kind of notoriety and has fame, has fortune, maybe it'll give a little bit of faith to somebody else that there will be justice for them too," Ledwell said on the Pink Shade With Erin Martin podcast.
The previous month, model Ashley Perkins publicly accused Ravenel of sexually assaulting her own mother, Debbie Hollaway Perkins, during a last-minute first date the pair had set up through Tinder. (Perkins later explained in a blog post published April 16 that her mother had signed a non-disclosure agreement and therefore couldn’t speak out about the incident herself.)
In her post, Perkins claimed that Ravenel had allegedly held her mother down by her wrists, pulled his penis out and “shoved” his fingers into her private parts. Perkins also explained that her mother was afraid to file charges following the December 25, 2015 incident, but that she agreed to let Perkins take photos of her wrists in case she wanted to press charges down the line.
Perkins also said that Gloria Allred had taken on her mother’s case in June 2016, and that in a mediation meeting with Ravenel’s legal team, her mother settled for $200,000 and agreed to sign the non-disclosure agreement. Perkins did not sign an NDA.
In a statement to E! News shortly after Perkins’ claims were made public, Ravenel’s attorney, Richard P. Terbrusch, cast doubt on the accusations: “My client enjoys a certain degree of fame and unfortunately has become — unfairly — a target for an individual who has, in my opinion, dubious motivations.”
Added Terbrusch of Ledwell’s additional allegations: "We are aware of the City of Charleston's ongoing investigation of the allegations made by Dawn Ledwell. Rather than engage in a media tit-for-tat, we have offered our cooperation in the investigation and are confident that when the truth comes out Thomas will be vindicated."
Earlier this year, Ravenel took to Twitter to announce to Southern Charm fans that he would not be returning for the upcoming season, though he gave a different reason for his absence.
“I’m not doing the show anymore,” he tweeted in August. “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.” (His Twitter page is currently protected.)
A second Southern Charm cast member was accused of sexual assault in August as well: John David “J.D.” Madison was accused of raping, sexually assaulting and involuntarily drugging a woman back in 2017. The investigation is ongoing.
This story was originally published on September 25. It has been updated with additional information.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

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