Thomas Ravenel

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Thomas Ravenel
Treasurer of South Carolina
In office
January 10, 2007 – July 24, 2007
GovernorMark Sanford
Preceded byGrady Patterson
Succeeded byConverse Chellis
Personal details
Born (1962-08-11) August 11, 1962 (age 57)[citation needed]
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.[citation needed]
Political partyIndependent (formerly Republican)
Spouse(s)Mary "Katy" Ryan (1996–1998)
Children2
Alma materThe Citadel
University of South Carolina, Columbia

Thomas Ravenel (born August 11, 1962) is an American politician and former State Treasurer. He is the son of former South Carolina Congressman Arthur Ravenel Jr.

As of 2019, he previously starred on the Bravo reality-television series Southern Charm and was an Independent candidate for the United States Senate in the 2014 election in South Carolina. He is also a member of the French Huguenot Church in Charleston.[1]

Background[edit]

Prior to running for office, Ravenel founded the Ravenel Development Corporation, a commercial real estate company.[1]

Ravenel ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004, seeking the seat left open when Fritz Hollings retired. He came in third in the Republican primary election. After Ravenel endorsed Republican Jim DeMint, DeMint went on to win the Republican runoff and the general election.[2] Subsequently, Ravenel was fined over $19,000 by the Federal Election Commission for improperly filing the required forms for the election.[3] Ravenel ran for South Carolina Treasurer in 2006, defeating nine-term state treasurer Democrat Grady Patterson in the 2006 general election.[4] Ravenel endorsed Ron Paul in the 2012 Republican primaries.[5]

Ravenel was previously in the cast of Bravo’s Southern Charm.[6] Ravenel lives at Brookland Plantation, an estate he purchased in 2006.[7]

Education[edit]

Ravenel graduated from The Citadel in Charleston, receiving his B.S. in 1985. He later received his M.B.A. from the University of South Carolina[8] in 1991. His M.B.A. studies were focused on finance and real estate.

Federal drug charges[edit]

In June 2007, Ravenel was indicted on federal cocaine distribution charges by US Attorney Reginald Lloyd.[9] The filed charges allege that Ravenel purchased less than 500 grams of cocaine through an intermediary in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2005, prior to his election as treasurer but after his abortive entry in the 2004 Senate race.

Governor Mark Sanford suspended Ravenel from his duties as state treasurer upon learning of the charges, and appointed Columbia attorney Ken Wingate to replace Ravenel on an interim basis. Meanwhile, Ravenel decided to enter a rehabilitation facility, according to prosecutors.[10]

Ravenel had been volunteering for the Rudolph Giuliani presidential campaign, serving as his South Carolina state chairman. Ravenel resigned from that post after the indictment, according to Giuliani campaign officials. The campaign subsequently replaced Ravenel with Barry Winn, who was co-chair of South Carolina finance committee.[11]

On July 24, Ravenel resigned as Treasurer.[12] The South Carolina General Assembly elected state Rep. Converse Chellis to serve out the remainder of his term.[13][14]

Ravenel underwent a rehabilitation program in Arizona, and then returned to plead guilty to "conspiring to buy and distribute less than 100 grams of cocaine" in September 2007.[15][16]

Sentencing[edit]

On Friday, March 4, 2008, Thomas Ravenel was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison for drug charges against him, but was not immediately ordered to report to begin his sentence.[17]

2014 campaign for U.S. Senate[edit]

On Monday, July 14, 2014, Thomas Ravenel submitted more than 17,000 signatures, officially placing him on the ballot as an independent candidate against incumbent Senator Lindsey Graham. He finished in third place, garnering 3.9% of the vote.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Ravenel was married to Mary "Katy" Ryan, daughter of the former Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Michael E. Ryan, for two years. They divorced in 1998.

He and his ex-girlfriend, Kathryn Calhoun Dennis, have two children, a girl (Kensington Calhoun) and a boy (Saint Julien Rembert).[19][20]

Assault and battery allegations[edit]

In April 2018, Ashley Perkins, a Florida-based real estate agent, claimed that Ravenel sexually battered her mother, Debbie Holloway Perkins, after meeting him on the dating app Tinder in December 2015. Perkins claims her mother later told her that Ravenel "stuck his penis in her face" and held her arms back while sticking his fingers inside her vagina and anus. Perkins said she did not witness the battery, but that her mother seemed "very withdrawn" and finally confided in her.[21] According to Perkins, her mother is unable to publicly discuss the case due to a non-disclosure agreement negotiated by attorney Gloria Allred as part of an alleged $200,000 settlement with Ravenel. However, Perkins, who claims to be a witness to the mediation process between her mother and Ravenel, was not bound to such an agreement and therefore able to publicly disclose the details of the case.[22]

Richard P. Terbrusch, Ravenel's attorney, denied Perkins' allegations, stating that his "client enjoys a certain degree of fame and unfortunately has become—unfairly—a target for an individual who has, in my opinion, dubious motivations."[23] Bravo and Southern Charm production company, Haymaker, announced on May 4, 2018 that it was taking the "allegations very seriously" and launching its own investigation into their validity.[24]

In May 2018, a second accuser—Dawn Ledwell, former nanny of Ravenel's children—came forward with new allegations of sexual battery against Ravenel. "Nanny Dawn" (as she was known to Southern Charm's viewers,(and close friend of Kathryn Dennis) claims that in January 2015, Ravenel assaulted her after a night out with his friends: "I went upstairs to get my jacket which had the key to my vehicle in the pocket. I was corralled into the master bedroom, and he shut the door behind me. I turned around, and he had his pants dropped, not wearing underwear," she said. "He was blocking the door. I was mortified, embarrassed, and scared."[25] Charleston police opened an investigation into the alleged assault after the nanny filed an incident report in early May.

In September 2018, Ashley Perkins published on her official website that Ledwell had first contacted her that spring, prior to going to the police. At that time, Ledwell shared with Perkins "very intimate details of her life and events with Thomas". By May, however, Perkins said she had "serious doubts" about Ledwell's accusations, stating that Ledwell's police report and public accounts of "forcible rape" differed from what Ledwell had told her privately. As a result, Perkins cut off her relationship with Ledwell, but "wished her the best". February 2019, Dawn Ledwell amended her original summons and complaint through the courts where the sexual contact is no longer listed.

On September 11, 2019, Ravenel pled guilty to third-degree assault and battery in connection with an attack on Ledwell. He will pay a $500 fine but serve no jail time. He also settled a civil suit with Ledwell, agreeing to donate $80,000 in her name to a charity for sexual assault survivors in lieu of paying her damages.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ravenel Development Corporation - Thomas Ravenel". Raveneldevelop.com. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
  2. ^ "White House Hopeful Rudy Giuliani's South Carolina Campaign Chairman Indicted on Cocaine Charges — Politics | Republican Party | Democratic Party | Political Spectrum". FOXNews.com. 2007-06-19. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
  3. ^ S.C. Politics Today Archived February 25, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "South Carolina state elections, 2006: Information and Much More from". Answers.com. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
  5. ^ "Thomas Ravenel Endorses Ron Paul" (Press release). Thomas Ravenel. Archived from the original on 2013-01-22. Retrieved 2012-11-06 – via Fitsnews.com.
  6. ^ "Bravo Media Marches Into Spring with Five New and Returning Series" (Press release). Bravo. January 14, 2014. Retrieved February 28, 2014 – via The Futon Critic.
  7. ^ Kropf, Schuyler (May 18, 2010). "Ravenel recounts accident". The Post and Courier. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  8. ^ [1] Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ [2] Archived July 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-30. Retrieved 2007-06-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "StarNewsOnline.com | Star-News | Wilmington, NC". Wilmingtonstar.com. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
  12. ^ "CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time Blog Archive - Former Giuliani state co-chair resigns from office « - Blogs from CNN.com". Politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com. 2007-07-24. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
  13. ^ [3][dead link]
  14. ^ "WLTX-TV News, Weather, Sports for Columbia and the Midlands of South Carolina". Wltx.com. 2007-08-03. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
  15. ^ "News - Charleston, SC". Wcbd.com. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
  16. ^ [4][dead link]
  17. ^ Jack Kuenzie. "WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina | Former SC Treasurer sentenced to 10 months". Wistv.com. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
  18. ^ "Thomas Ravenel cites personal problems, late start in US Senate". Live5News.com. 4 November 2014.
  19. ^ "Thomas Ravenel - Southern Charm Cast & Info". BravoTV. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  20. ^ Southern Charm's Kathryn Dennis Gives Birth to a Baby Boy November 10, 2015
  21. ^ Haring, Bruce (May 5, 2018). "'Southern Charm' Star Accused Of Sexual Misconduct by Former Tinder Date". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  22. ^ "Southern Charm's Thomas Ravenel Accused of Sexual Assault, Allegedly Paid Accuser $200,000". People. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  23. ^ "Southern Charm's Thomas Ravenel Denies Sexual Assault Claims". E! News. May 4, 2018. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  24. ^ Brockington, Ariana (May 5, 2018). "Bravo Investigating Assault Allegation Against 'Southern Charm' Star". Variety. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  25. ^ "Southern Charm's Thomas Ravenel Accused of Sexually Assaulting Ex-Nanny Who Appeared on the Show". People. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  26. ^ Coello, Sara (September 11, 2019). "Former 'Southern Charm' star Thomas Ravenel avoids jail time in assault plea deal". Post and Courier.
Political offices
Preceded by
Grady Patterson
Treasurer of South Carolina
2007
Succeeded by
Converse Chellis