Last month, Southern Charm star Kathryn Dennis filed to amend custody of her two children following the arrest of baby daddy Thomas Ravenel.
Though Thomas is facing a criminal trial, he’s also making time to fight this custody filing.
Thomas is alleging that Kathryn is only making this move to get better ratings — and that Bravo put her up to it.
RadarOnline got their hands on some documents from Charleston Family Court.
Thomas is suing, but he’s not aiming directly at Kathryn.
Instead, the disgraced former politician is suing Bravo and production company Haymaker Media, Inc.
Thomas claims that they "encouraged, condoned and/or gave Plaintiff express or implied consent to initiate a lawsuit against the Third Party Plaintiff."
This suit being, of course, "for custody of Plaintiff’s and Third Party Plaintiff’s minor children."
"The Plaintiff filed and was encouraged to file this lawsuit," Thomas’ team alleges.
And they say it was done "for the express or implied purpose of providing material for the filming of Season 6 of Southern Charm."
Thomas is trying to stop Bravo from airing any footage of Kathryn’s kids. Even though it’s a reality show and she’s their mom.
"The Third Party Plaintiff requests that this Court enjoin the Third Party Defendants," the suit says.
The papers continue: "from disseminating and/or airing any Season 6 and/or otherwise unaired video footage which features the minor children."
Thomas wants no footage relating "in this matter and/or which directly or indirectly concerns the minor children, this litigation, and/or the custody dispute."
He specifies that the dispute is: "between the Plaintiff and the Third Party Plaintiff."
"And," the papers say, he wants this footage to remain unaired on Bravo "permanently."
Thomas is also asking the court to force the defendants to pay all attorney fees.
"Defendant is informed," the suit claims.
"And believes it is not coincidental that Plaintiff initiated this litigation during the filming of the next season of Southern Charm," the documents conclude.
Kathryn Dennis is a reality star.
While she’s not literally always filming, she does spend a lot of her life during periods when she’s filming.
That is how the reality business usually works.
Thomas should know that — he spent five years on the show that he’s now suing.
If there is a special component to Kathryn’s timing, it probably has less to do with reality television.
It probably has more to do with Thomas Ravenel’s arrest in September for assault and battery.
The arrest stems from harrowing accusations from Nanny Dawn, one of two women who have come forward to accuse Ravenel of rape.
Kathryn insisted that she was going to avoid directly commenting on the allegations at first.
(She did manage to get a 50/50 custody split around that time, very quietly)
But an arrest is much more difficult to gloss over for the sake of one’s shared children.
Kathryn very likely seeks to limit how much her very young children are exposed to what’s sure to be a highly publicized trial.
It was the month following Thomas’ arrest that Kathryn filed to amend their custody arrangement.
There is doubt that Thomas’ team’s argument that Kathryn’s sinister plot to have custody of her own children is a ploy for ratings.
It seems more likely that, at "worst," she cynically figured that right now — while he’s facing trial — may be her best shot at getting custody.
If Thomas ends up going to prison, she’s a shoe-in for custody anyway.
But if Thomas avoids prison time or is acquitted, she may never have this good of a chance in court again.
And again, how much of their father’s trial do Kensie and Saint really need to be exposed to?
We’re no legal scholars, but some wonder if perhaps Thomas doesn’t believe that he has a real chance of blocking Bravo from filming.
It may be that he hopes to instead plant a seed of doubt in family court about Kathryn’s intentions.
If he can successfully portray his ex as an opportunistic glutton for fame, the court may be less inclined to see things Kathryn’s way.
But the guy who’s about to face trial for rape is going to have an uphill battle to convince anyone that he’s the good parent.