Thomas Ravenel from Southern Charm

‘Southern Charm’: Thomas Ravenel Claims DNA Can’t Change, But Did He Change After Coke Conviction?

On this week’s Southern Charm, Thomas Ravenel said that he didn’t think that someone’s core DNA could change after rehab, but did his stints in rehab and prison change him? He was obviously talking about Kathryn Dennis, who spent time in rehab last summer in order to clean up her act and become a better parent to their children, Saint and Kensie. But is this another example of the hypocrisy that runs rampant on Southern Charm? Thomas says he wants to have Kathryn as part of their children’s lives, but does he really?

On the Southern Charm Season 3 reunion, the cast of Southern Charm seemed to gang up on Kathryn, who was at a serious low point, yet many of them had experiences with addiction and the law they certainly weren’t proud of.

This year, for example, Cameran Eubanks Wimberly got ahead of the news that her husband Jason has a DUI, and Southern Charm producer Bryan Kestner pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine paraphernalia after allegedly borrowing a jacket from a cast member that had drug equipment in it. Kestner was caught after he was seen urinating behind a dumpster in Charleston. And then there is Thomas Ravenel, who had a bigger fall from grace than Kathryn Dennis when he lost his job as state treasurer after a conviction on cocaine charges.

Cameran Eubanks attends the 2016 NBCUniversal Summer Press Day.
Cameran Eubanks Wimberly’s husband was charged with DUI. [Image by Jason Kempin/Getty Images]

Obviously, Thomas was correct, because actual DNA doesn’t change no matter what, but it seemed like he was trying to say that behavior can’t change after a month in rehab. Obviously, it can, and there are other factors in place like how long one has been using drugs and how high the stakes. Kathryn Dennis returned from rehab knowing that the only way she could get custody of her children was by getting clean and staying clean. But after his own struggle with drug addiction, fans thought that Southern Charm’s Thomas Ravenel might have shown Kathryn some sympathy.

Back in June of 2007, Thomas Ravenel, the then-South Carolina treasurer, was arrested by federal agents for purchasing less than 500 grams of cocaine, which he used himself and shared with friends. Thomas was indicted with his dealer and DJ Mike Miller, also known as Hash. Ravenel was said to have been under investigation for two years, and his father, Arthur Ravenel, who has been seen in the last few episodes of Southern Charm, told the press that the family was aware of Thomas’ drug use and addiction.

“He’s in pretty bad shape, you know. He’s got a drug problem. We suspected it.”

Thomas immediately went to rehab before pleading guilty to the above charges. After rehab, Thomas Ravenel served seven months in prison — two under house arrest — and reportedly paid a $350,000 fine. Upon his release, he had to live in a halfway house and, later, his mother’s retirement community, thanks to sentencing regulations that prohibited him living alone without supervision. South Carolina law prevents convicted felons from holding office, which is why on Southern Charm, Thomas ran for federal office, which has no provisions in place.

On Southern Charm Season 4, Kathryn has been working the steps of her recovery program, which includes making amends to those you’ve wronged. Kathryn Dennis sent letters to Thomas Ravenel and Whitney Sudler-Smith (Whitney is her castmate on Southern Charm and also serves as her de facto boss in his role as executive producer), apologizing and explaining the ways she planned to work for change. But on the four seasons of Southern Charm, Thomas Ravenel has seemed flippant, making jokes about his drug use, while Kathryn has seemed sincere. Thomas even suggested that he was never a drug addict and simply used cocaine recreationally.

“It was just something I did in my personal life and I didn’t really have a problem with cocaine. What I realized later was I just really liked the smell of it.”

Even Whitney had to tell Thomas onscreen that while running for office and hoping to unseat Lindsey Graham, he might want to tone down the drug jokes (Thomas was at that time, and still is on probation) because of public perception.

“Bro, no more coke jokes, please.”

But Thomas wasn’t hearing it.

“F**k public perception.”

In his defense, Thomas has remained consistent and believes that as a Libertarian, people should be able to do what they want in their personal lives. However, he seems to believe that this does not pertain to Kathryn, who he holds to a different set of rules.


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Ravenel recently quoted Steve Jobs on Twitter (but has since deleted it) about the nanny state to support his beliefs.

“I personally agree with Steve Jobs (RIP) you should try an illegal drug or two even if our tyrannous nanny state puts you in prison for it.”

Which Southern Charm cast member seemed more committed to sobriety after going to rehab, Kathryn or Thomas?

[Featured Image by Bravo]

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