When I first began composing the article I posted yesterday about Southern Charm, I had not yet heard the allegations against Thomas Ravenel. As first documented by FitNews.com, according to Panama, Florida real estate agent Ashley Perkins, Ravenel settled with her mom two years ago over an assault charge. https://www.fitsnews.com/2018/04/14/southern-charm-fireworks-off-screen-drama-rocks-reality-tv-show/
Interestingly, high power attorney Gloria Allred led the mediation while Ravenel was represented by an attorney from Connecticut.
Lawyers and laymen alike have weighed in with their theories of why Ravenel, who resides in Charleston, South Carolina, would hire a Connecticut based attorney: “This man is a local celebrity who comes from a prominent family and has a bridge named after him,” One attorney opined, “He wants to keep this as quiet as possible around Charleston. Hiring someone from out of state is a smart move as part of that plan…and with the NDA that was signed, the case can’t be discussed anyway.” Except that it was. Although Perkins’ mother is under an NDA, Perkins herself is not.
I spoke with Perkins earlier today to find out why she came forward at this time. I also wanted to try to determine her credibility. She said that while Southern Charm‘s past season’s were airing, she wasn’t a viewer. She and her mom have since moved away, but they were living in Charleston at that time and associated the Ravenel name with the well-known Ravenel Bridge. They also knew he was involved with a show and that was what made both of them feel safe when he matched with her mother on Tinder, the dating app Perkins had recommended to her mom. While this may sound hard to believe, each was unfamiliar with Southern Charm‘s story-lines at the time because they were immersed in school studies and had little time for TV. Both mother and daughter were busy obtaining degrees in Hospitality and Tourism Management.
“My Mom married young and when my Grandmother died the year before, she wanted to finish school for HER,” Perkins explained.
Perkins said the rationale for agreeing to a date with Ravenel was: “He’s probably safe if he’s been checked out for television, right?” It gave both of them a sense of comfort to know that he was affiliated with a popular show. According to Perkins, her mom not only bore witness to Thomas Ravenel’s temper, but has photographic evidence of wrist injuries from the night in question.
I asked Perkins why she chose to come forward at this time, after an NDA that restricts her mother from discussing the case and after two years have passed since the incident.
“I saw an advertisement for Southern Charm with Thomas just walking around…It got me angry. How is this that he did something so bad and inflicted harm and he gets to walk around as the star of a show? I kept thinking of #MeToo and the women speaking out and saying they’re not going to take this silently anymore. I’m so angry about what happened. My mother signed an NDA, but I did not.”
Perkins has since been brought up to speed – through show fans and online research – about the mother of Thomas’s children and how often she has lost custody to Thomas. She expressed that she now feels a sense of obligation towards Kathryn and though she’ll be “nauseous” watching Thomas on screen, she may now have to tune in to see how things play out for Kathryn who she’s rooting for. “How is that she keeps losing custody to him? I hope I can somehow help her because what he did makes me so mad.”
Perkins added that she was contacted by another woman with her own claims about the reality star. While Perkins tried to encourage the woman to come forward about her experience, she expressed that she’s too terrified of how the allegedly litigious and financially powerful Charlestonian might retaliate. “She wants to remain anonymous, but I really hope that she eventually speaks out – and in her name, so that it helps out!”
You can read more of Ashley Perkins’ account and her thoughts on her blog: http://ashleyperkinsofficial.com/addressing-sexual-assault-allegations-thomas-ravenel-attorneys/.