Bravo TV, Psychology, public figures, Reality TV

#SouthernCharm: Bashing Ashley Isn’t My Thing

There’s something I’ve been wanting to address for a while about Southern Charm. Yes, Ashley Jacobs is the villain of the season and she’s done some godawful things that have been captured on camera, but when it comes to her dramatic weight loss, her past escapades, or the rumors about her being an escort, I’m not going overboard in the discussions.

I feel that Ashley has approached Kathryn Dennis all wrong and I feel indignant about her scathing commentary on Kathryn as a mom, but I’m not going to respond by dredging up every salaciously “slutty” (please note, I use quotation marks) photo from her college years, or mocking her boob transformation. I understand the notion of “people who put themselves on reality TV are fair game,” but I feel these tactics are not only somewhat ludicrous and overboard, but also…besides the point. I can drag Ashley for telling Kathryn she’s nothing but an egg donor, but I wouldn’t feel good about myself ragging on the appearance of her hair texture in response, or hopping on her Instagram page to suggest she eats a hamburger.

Some of the “Trashley” posts seem a bit too much to me, targeting someone who – in my opinion – appears to be suffering physically and psychologically from doing this stressful show (she wasn’t paid either). And look, I’ve certainly lambasted reality stars in the past (I didn’t even pause after one reality star called me a “pussy” three times in a phone call and felt anything was deserved after that) and I’m not telling YOU not to do it. You all have free will and are afforded free speech, but I personally am trying to keep my commentary about Ashley linked to what we see on television and will call her out for rantings about others when cameras aren’t rolling.

I feel terrible for Luzanne Otte, a private woman who got dragged into the Ashley and Thomas story and I wrote about that, but I tried not to go too much further in saying anything disparaging beyond what was exhibited. I also did write a post about how the cast suspects some random Twitter accounts belong to Ashley as that’s been a major topic of discussion on social media prompting the hashtag #HiAshley. I try to address things that are happening in real time, but without getting carried too far away.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, in a few episodes, Ashley will make the offhanded remark to Shep Rose “Would you date me?” (Meaning: because things are rocky with TRav, are there hypothetical scenarios and options so she won’t have to leave the Charleston area.) This is not something that is said in earnest necessarily, but it’s a comment that is sure to lead to tons of Ashley bashing on social media. There’s no way this is an incorrect prediction. I can see that the stress is already taking a toll on this woman. Is she desperate? Perhaps. Misguided? Possibly. Evil? I’m not so sure.

I think Ashley may one day have the hindsight to say she behaved badly on television. I think that we see her clinging to this relationship with Thomas Ravenel for one reason of another. Whether it’s money or fame, as people have concluded, I sense she is incredibly stressed out. Her alarming weight loss signals to me that she’s trying to maintain control over a situation that she feels, frustratingly, she has little control of.

I can’t help feeling some sympathy as I rage-watch her on TV and sometimes want to slap her for what she’s said to KD. This is the reason why I won’t tweet out the gifs and caricatures mocking her, or resort to name calling on Twitter. Something about it doesn’t sit right with me intuitively, but as a reality TV anthropologist, I’ll snark and weigh in on what’s said on the show.

I’ll feel a lot better about writing this post if/when we see a reflective Ashley, one who looks upon this past season and her time with TRav and realizes where she went wrong, when she spoke out of turn, and who she hurt while trying to protect herself.

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Bravo TV, public figures, Reality TV

#SouthernCharm: Is It Ashley or Bot Number 999?

I’ve seen a few posts recently – from my usual trailblazing reality TV writers (Amy Feinstein of Inquistr and Tamara Tattles of her eponymous site) – about how Twitter troll accounts are taunting Kathryn Dennis.

Today, one tweeted out that next episode of SouthernCharm will show us why Ashley’s been right about Kathryn all along. In next week’s episode, as we gathered from previews, Kathryn goes MIA for a bit, but a deep dive through her social media (and that of Thomas Ravenel’s during that time period) attests to the fact that she doesn’t neglect any her essential responsibilities. So I’m not sure what this “troll” thinks it knows.

Kathryn suffers from some anxiety and depression (and after years of being gaslit by TRav, allegedly, is it any wonder?! Not to mention two televised postpartum periods back-to-back) and I’ve known a few women in that position to withdraw from humans for days or weeks. We all need breaks. With challenging moods and related struggles, those aren’t so rare.

The aforementioned troll accounts have been called out on Twitter by both Kathryn and Patricia as belonging to Ashley Jacobs, unpaid nemesis of the season who (love her or HATE her) has probably increased Southern Charm‘s ratings.

Sadly, the sexual assault allegations plaguing Thomas Ravenel probably have as well.

The good news is that Kathryn will become even more beloved by most viewers at the end of this season rather than the alternative. Stay tuned to let me know if this prediction is correct. Tamara Tattles reiterates this and has intel from an inside source. I feel it is well-deserved and about time for the visibly maturing, former underdog to thrive.

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Bravo TV, Reality TV, Uncategorized

#SouthernCharm: Breaking Down the ‘Blind Gossip’

Someone who is way better at updating her website than I am, as well as more impressively diligent about frequent postings and keeping current with numerous reality shows is Tamara Tattles. Personally, I’m just starting out with this website, ShirasGotTheScoop, and trying to manage other jobs and endeavors (including a gaggle of offspring) simultaneously, but I’d like to post as often as I can. In that regard, I look up to Tamara who is admirably a #SuperBlogger – #Goals. I’m in awe of friends who post multiple times daily and I’ll admit that I’m not sure of my aspirations for this site yet as I fret about other work. What I can tell you is that sometimes, the savvier website- keepers inspire me greatly to weigh in… So tonight, I’m going to delve into Tamara Tattles’ most recent post.

Tamara has authored a blind item that I shall attempt to interpret as one would explore Talmudic text (my Jewish day school contemporaries may or may not crack a smile at that. They may or may not eschew the reference entirely, deeming it despicably sacrilegious). There will be lots of commentary and speculation on my part, and I’ll make sure to pepper my postulations with allegedlies – in order to be as fair as one can possibly be here.

Tamara Tattles’ site, which I urge you to check out, is TamaraTattles.com, and she currently also has her blind item on the website BlindGossip.com. Before I weigh in and break it all down as if it is a tractate of Gemara, here’s the full item:

On a certain reality show, there is one evil b* that is worse than anything we have ever seen. EVER. She has literally hooked her way on to the show by way of another aberrant creature we recently got rid of.

In an odd turn of events, I totally warned the male in this story about the female in this story very, very, early on when she was trying to sell stories to the sites that pay for the dirt.  He was polite, but didn’t really believe me so I just bowed out to watch nature take its course.

Now I am finding out that she has been constantly digging up the dirt on her “beloved.” She has gone through his phone, she has gone through his computer, and she has a lot of information to share. She has attacked a woman relentlessly who politely declined to play the role she is currently playing. She’s psychotic.

Here just a few things she has on her equally despicable “mark”.

◦ Very early on, his sisters tried to pay him to send this female back to where she came from and try to get the female who declined “the opportunity” to reconsider. That was never a possibility but the sisters didn’t have the full story.

◦ She was particularly incensed about his will. She was not happy with the beneficiaries.

◦ Some sort of lesbian sex tape with toys. I presume he was on camera but my source was not clear about that.

◦ She was also pissed about him asking people via email about her call girl reputation. She was not working and living with her mother at the time they were introduced.

There is a lot more. He is terrified. He’s tried on multiple occasions to break up with her but she is threatening to sell stories. Oddly, that is the very thing I warned him about months and months ago. At least I tried, and honestly, knowing what I know now, that I didn’t know then, I’m hoping these two drag each other to death. Neither one of them need to be breathing our air unless it is behind bars. At least we know that neither of them will be on out TV again unless it’s on the news about their court cases.

See You Next Tuesday has a significant meaning for this blind. Because she will be speaking unsupervised next Tuesday. And she’s a loose cannon. Expect bizarre social media posts from him on Tuesday as well and more from me as soon as I get the tea.

So here’s the deal…and be prepared for potential **spoilers** in this post. It has been rumored that Ashley Jacobs, Thomas Ravenel’s girlfriend and the Southern Charm “villain” of the season, is not just a Cali girl but a call girl!!!!

I’m not sure that I’m “buying it” personally, but in the episodes ahead, you may very well see one of the other ladies in the cast bring it up to the group.

At this stage, rumors are just rumors, and of course, there has been smoke —but is there fire? That question could very likely be the cliff-hanger of the current season. If Thomas Ravenel and Ashley Jacobs are kaput post reunion (meaning: not slated to return next season), we’ll be left with a lot that is unanswered. The reunion is being filmed tomorrow – hence the reference above to “Tuesday.”

I’m sorry to disappoint readers, but I am doubtful we’ll get our answers to the “call girl” question. Thomas’s contract actually expires after the reunion, and we do not know (and frankly, it seems DOUBTFUL) if it will be renewed for another season.

The friend who introduced Ashley to the show is said to be Landon Clements (a cast member from last season). Rumor has it (and again, keep in mind the above disclaimer about rumors merely being rumors) that after Ashley went through Thomas’s emails, she concluded that a former Ravenel girlfriend of just one week, Luzanne Otte, was to blame for the cast’s dislike of her.

It has also been alleged that Landon assisted in planting these particular seeds of doubt in her friend Ashley’s mind.

In the next few episodes of Southern Charm, you will see Ashley and Thomas’s relationship deteriorate as Ashley is plagued by insecurities. Thomas does little to reassure her (or to be nice at all, in my opinion).

It seems he “checked out” earlier on when his new squeeze attacked Kathryn, who impressively maintained her composure amidst the volatility.

From what one can decipher in the item, Tamra Tattles tried to warn Thomas that Ashley might have found allies in a group of curmudgeons running a revenge-slanted blog.

Twitter users have noted that said blog has been the only outlet to praise Thomas amidst multiple sexual assault allegations. It has also been pointed out that the site unabashedly slut-shamed the daughter of a Ravenel sexual assault victim, deliberately posting one sexy photo after another of her (she’s a model and realtor) between article paragraphs. The intention is beyond transparent.

Before the sexual assault allegations garnered media attention, Ashley Jacobs allegedly went on a tear: She blamed TRav’s ex Luzanne Otte (the ONE WEEK “relationship” gal who ended things with Thomas after witnessing absurd and temperamental behavior) for animosity she felt from cast mates.

Sources claim Ashley fed the aforementioned blog many of the stories they ended up running. This was much to the dismay of privacy-craving Luzanne Otte, a woman who would never go on realty TV and who would really rather that folks not even know her name. Unfortunately, she was forced to go public in order to clear it.

You will see in the episodes ahead how Ashley’s relationship with Thomas Ravenel unravels. I was informed that Ashley even asked Shep Rose if he would date her – should things not pan out with Thomas.

What else would she possibly do in Charleston otherwise?

You’ll get the sense that she would really like a reason to stay.

Tamara alludes to the fact that Thomas’s family members had suggested Ashley go back to Santa Barbara and that might have been the best move, but the harder things have gotten, the stronger Ashley has fought to stand her ground and stay.

There are implications in the above blind item that Ashley has some secrets she’s keeping about Thomas (the “lesbian sex tape”, whatever that entails, may be a part of it…or it might not be). There is so much more to Thomas (risqué sexcapades? More information about sexual assaults? Other TRav troubles? The manner in which Ashley and TRav truly met?) that Ashley seems to know. She may be lording all of that knowledge over him, essentially blackmailing him to stay in the relationship and allow her to remain in his home.

Again, all of the above is ALLEGED, but pay special attention to the dynamics between Thomas and Ashley in the coming episodes.

If I’m interpreting things correctly, Tamara Tattles tried to forewarn Thomas about the mess that lay ahead…whatever it is exactly.

It seems quite clear that the issued warning went unheeded. The blind item implies that Thomas may be desperate to break up with Ashley.

However, for once, the powerful, affluent, former politician and alpha male of the notorious “All boys club” (a monster of Haymaker Productions’ making) is powerless.

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Bravo TV, Reality TV, Television

#SouthernCharm: More from Luzanne Otte Who BRIEFLY Dated Thomas Ravenel

Since my last post about Southern Charm, I have had certain haters come out of hiding. (Last post: https://wordpress.com/post/shirasgotthescoop.com/482) These are not people I know IRL (as the kids say, the abbreviation for “In Real Life”), so it’s alright for the most part. These are the types of individuals who use cartoons of animals as profile pics and pseudonyms to protect their real identities. They’ve made sure to rub it in that there is no longer a Huffington Post Contributor platform for the 100k writers who were on it. Some of them even claim to be responsible for the Huffington Post no longer having that platform – they say it’s because of a Housewives show on Bravo that I reviewed unfavorably. Now THAT would be quite a feat if it were true! Instead it’s laughable to think that a small group objecting to some show recaps I wrote sank an entire platform of 100K writers.

Simultaneously, there have been so many clues that actually STARE YOU IN THE FACE so you know exactly who these people – these “trolls” – are. It’s clear that the folks who are now tweeting about me since I interviewed Luzanne either work for Thomas Ravenel or conduct some pro-bono activity on his (and his girlfriend Ashley Jacobs’) behalf.

In other news, today there were questions raised by bloggers as to whether Luzanne was auditioned for the show Southern Charm. Luzanne swears to me that because of her insane 9-5 job working for the archdiocese and an overall lack of desire to be on television, she was clear about it never working out in a million years when Patricia Altschul and Thomas alluded to the possibility.

Tamara Tattles wrote this great piece in support of Luzanne. However, she also questioned whether Luzanne auditioned for the show: http://tamaratattles.com/2018/05/24/my-post-about-the-luzanne-otte-situation/. I respectfully agree to disagree on certain topics with Tamara Tattles, but I commend her on her overall support of and belief in Luzanne Otte who became an unwitting victim of salacious (and false) website gossip. Her article was well-written.

I asked Luzanne today about the whole notion of “auditioning” for the show and here is exactly how she responded to me:

“Not at all. I thought Thomas was trying to become a better man and looking for a strong woman to help him get there. I really thought he’d turned over a new leaf. It wasn’t until sitting with Pat and Thomas when I kept saying I wouldn’t be on the show, then the look on his face and not hearing me that I realized he may be looking for a woman to redeem himself. ‘Look I’ve got this debutante, church lawyer, friend of Pat’s who likes me.’ But the fact of the matter is, even if I didn’t object to reality TV, I love my job and need a job to pay my bills.”

On a related note, FitsNews.com recently reported that Thomas Ravenel has been in a depressed, anxious and highly agitated state since the sexual assault allegations came to light (Luzanne’s disclosure – let the record state – was NOT at all sexual in nature. She spoke of  a Jekyll and Hyde switch from sweet by day to volatile at night). Sources in Charleston and others in the know, tell me exclusively that he’s been fretting significantly since the interviews with Luzanne ran yesterday and the day before. He’s been trying to figure out the best ways to do some damage control, say these sources.

As for the sexual assault allegations and the resulting “investigation,” at this point we are waiting for an update from Charleston Police. Sources in the know tell me that Bravo has stated: What a reality TV personality does off camera is none of their concern.

I sincerely hope that those sources have gotten it all wrong here: Rape (as Nanny Dawn alleges in the statement she brought to the Charleston PD) is something to take with extreme gravity. Bravo is part of NBC Universal, so it seems ironic to me that Matt Lauer was so quickly dismissed from the network when more serious accusations currently plague Thomas Ravenel. We think of all the men who were immediately let go during this #MeToo and #TimesUp era: Mario Batali, Charlie Rose, Kevin Spacey and so many, many more. See this list: https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/sexual-misconduct/weinstein-here-s-growing-list-men-accused-sexual-misconduct-n816546 .

I’m happy that after months of being unjustly maligned by gossip sites (allegedly ones that ate up sordid tales fed to them by TRav and Ashley), Luzanne Otte has had a chance to finally clear her name. I hope she can get back to the private life she so desperately craves.

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Bravo TV

#SouthernCharm: “I NEVER Wanted to Be a Part of the Storyline” Says Luzanne Otte

If you are a fan of the Bravo show Southern Charm and you’ve read some of the more salacious – and completely outrageous – reports, you may recognize the name Luzanne Otte. However, Luzanne is pretty adamant that she never wanted you to know her name at all. No, she really did not intend to be a part of this in the least.

She agreed to date Thomas Ravenel because she is a friend of the show’s matriarchal character Patricia Altschul who was intent on this match. It took much prodding from Patricia to convince Luzanne that the former felon had turned over a new leaf. As a Christian, Luzanne desperately wanted to be compassionate and forgiving and to see Thomas in the new light that Patricia apparently saw him (As we now know, Patricia also has changed her tune and perception of Mr. Ravenel since filming of the current season wrapped). She decided to get to know him, but unlike some reports you may have read, she was never his “girlfriend.” They merely dated for one week.

Luzanne reflects upon that week in which she dated the show’s playboy, now under investigation for sexual assault allegations, as a “blip” in time. Unfortunately, that blip would come back to bite her in the ass when Thomas’s jealous girlfriend Ashley Jacobs began desperately poking around, determined to figure out why Southern Charm cast mates disliked her so much.

I connected with Luzanne because I would frequently see the articles in which she was maligned, where one set of allegations would quickly be followed by another and I was able to recognize she was an unwitting victim of clearly concocted tabloid tales. Through our conversations, I would determine that here was a timid woman trying to avoid the public eye rather than running toward it. In this regard, she held out for as long as she could, remaining admirably tight-lipped for many months. When we spoke initially, it was off the record and Luzanne and I had connected for very personal reasons.

Last year, like Luzanne, I found myself the subject of some insane tweets and read things about myself that were completely false. For me, it was because I had criticized a reality TV personality in recaps of a show. I wrote about the experience for my Huffington Post blog around last Christmas and Luzanne read that article. It resonated with her (months later) in light of what she was experiencing and as soon as we connected, she let me know. We instantly bonded over how insane reality television can get behind the scenes – It is a surreal phenomenon and hard for others to even fathom, but yes, it happens.

Luzanne told me that the only press she ever desired in life was a birth announcement followed by one for marriage, ending with one for death with no headlines in between. She now regrets ever dating someone who is on reality TV and swears she will never do so again. Her day job is completely incompatible with the reality television lifestyle and she looks at being on these types of shows (and the attention it brings) as her “worst nightmare.” She even advised Thomas to get off the show to focus on his turbulent personal life.

The two of us have spoken for a few weeks now and Luzanne never wanted to go public in defending her name. Unfortunately, as Ashley Jacobs spoke more and more about Luzanne (in Instagram Live posts, on the podcast The Morning Toast and quite often to a reality TV fan site), Luzanne felt compelled to break her silence. Today, The Daily Mail published an interview with her. In order to garner headlines, they focused on the fact that she is a childhood friend of Kim Kardashian’s. Luzanne tells me that she greatly wishes they had left out that one detail. Had they done so, it would have accurately reflected her desire to be a private person rather than one seeking the lime-light. However, the website chose to include it because one of Ashley Jacobs’ claims is that Luzanne desires fame. Furthermore, Ashley has cited Luzanne’s friendship with Kim K to attest to that (mis-)characterization.

Luzanne tells me that the unwanted attention she is receiving has caused her much anxiety and stress. Her father is unwell and a troll account on Twitter was created in order to mock her father as well as malign her. (I really hope that Ashley Jacobs realizes all of this does not reflect well upon her.)

Luzanne says she came forward now to help the women who spoke out about sexual assault by Thomas Ravenel, women who seemed frustrated and hurt by the experience and the response of others in the aftermath. She is also speaking out because she felt that she has no choice but to clear her name after months of being slandered. Despite a Cease and Desist and her pleas for the attention to stop, the smear campaign against her continues. She had hoped to resolve all of this privately and those efforts were for naught. She had absolutely no choice but to opt for her very last resort, something she had hoped to avoid all-together: Going public in order to state the truth, give the background and the facts.

Following is an interview that my friend Amy Feinstein conducted with Luzanne Otte for FitsNews.com. It gives you the full scoop on the reality show behind the reality show, the character who did not sign up to be a part of it and what she experienced: https://www.fitsnews.com/2018/05/22/amy-feinstein-interviews-luzanne-otte-about-her-experiences-with-thomas-ravenel/.

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