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/.