Thomas Ravenel: Southern Charm Star's Stunning Rise and Fall Revealed

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Disgraced former Southern Charm star Thomas Ravenel has been arrested for assault and battery, and it is believed that the charges stem from one of the public sexual assault allegations against him.

For five years, he was a mainstay on the reality series, albeit a polarizing one. Now, he may be looking at years behind bars.

What happened?

Thomas Ravenel Mug Shot

On the Season 1 preview for Southern Charm, the city of Charleston was described as "a playground for men who never want to grow up."

That has certainly been true for a number of men, including the stars of the show -- wealthy "gentlemen" who can afford to live as playboys.

But sometimes, life comes at you fast, and consequences for past misbehavior can catch up with you. It is a sobering experience.

On Tuesday, September 25, Thomas Ravenel was arrested for assault and battery.

At the start of the year, he was a reality star with everything going for him. Now, he's disgraced, no longer on television, and may be looking at prison time.

Thomas Ravenel Pic

Thomas was already infamous in Charleston when Southern Charm premiered in 2014. He already had his awful nickname, "T-Rav."

In 2006, he was State Treasurer. As the son of a South Carolina congressman and a member of a revered family, it looked like his political career was just beginning.

Then came his drug-bust. In 2007, he pleaded guilty to "conspiring to buy and distribute less than 100 grams of cocaine."

In March of 2008, he was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison.

With his construction business and family money, this didn't ruin his life -- but it seems to have ruined his political aspirations.

Thomas Ravenel Snapshot

In 2014, it looked like Thomas would have his second chance to make a name for himself -- not as a politician, but as a reality star.

When Whitney Sudler-Smith wanted to put together a television pilot about some of the men in Charleston, his elegant and formidable mother, Patricia Altschul, had just the friend for the show.

As Whitney explained back in 2017, Thomas was exactly what the show needed to get started.

"Basically, he was totally ostracized and a lightning rod," Whitney said. "I found him incredibly amusing, I just thought, something should be done with this person."

The co-founder of Southern Charm's production company agreed, and said: "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Thomas Ravenel was one of a kind."

Thomas Ravenel, Pinky Ring

For five seasons, Thomas' "one of a kind" qualities made him a very polarizing figure. He was not the key to the show's success, but he was definitely a major ingredient.

Now, that has changed.

In May of 2018, Ashley Perkins told Fox News that her mother, Debbie Hollaway Perkins, had been sexually assaulted by Thomas after a Tinder date.

Though Thomas' attorney claimed that he was being targeted for his fame, Debbie had allegedly been paid a $200,000 settlement -- an agreement by which Ashley was not legally bound.

Then a woman known to Southern Charm viewers as Nanny Dawn came forward, and said that Thomas had come home late one night and sexually assaulted her while his own child slept in the next room.

Thomas Ravenel at the Reunion

Charleston police have been investigating both allegations. Bravo was conducting its own investigation, but Thomas announced that he would not be returning to the series.

It is believed that it was for the alleged assault on Nanny Dawn that Thomas has been arrested.

The reported context of the charges -- that he carried out a naked assault on a nanny -- fit the accusations that she leveled at him when she came forward.

That said, the nanny is not named in the documents related to the arrest, as is appropriate. Fans have merely connected the dots.

Thomas Ravenel

Ultimately, Dawn does not expect that he'll be imprisoned, telling People: "Although I believe he should be in jail for his crimes, the reality according to statistics is that he will go unpunished."

She is unfortunately right about those statistics. The vast majority of sexual assaults go unreported. Of those that are reported, only a slim fraction result in prison time.

As Dawn explains: "I feel the only justice I will receive is to share my story in the efforts to educate the public and support assault survivors."

Perhaps this time will be different. As always, we hope that the court reaches a correct and just decision.

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