It all started when an alleged former employee of The Gentry Bar & Room dropped the dime on Southern Charm sidekick J.D. Madison to the Charleston City Paper with the news that Madison is facing a federal lawsuit after a failure to pay $163k in back rent for the bar and restaurant at 276 King Street. At this time, The Gentry Bar & Room has closed at this location (after an eviction was allegedly served) and a sign on the door says that they are moving, saying that The Gentry Bar is “currently in transition.”
“Gentry Bar is moving to its new location. We look forward to serving you there.”
And just before the employee shared that The Gentry was struggling with some serious money trouble, J.D. Madison, frequently seen hosting parties on Southern Charm, released an official statement which according to the employee only told half the story.
“The ownership of the building changed hands and when that happened the option for lease renewal became increasingly difficult. So much so that the decision to relocate the successful business became a necessity. We have loved the opportunity of serving Charleston and its fine visitors and look forward to opening our doors in a new location downtown very soon.”
After J.D. Madison did Craig Conover the favor of hiring him in Season 3 of Southern Charm, maybe Craig can offer Madison some free legal advice now that Craig has finally passed the South Carolina Bar?
But after the Charleston City Paper received the semi-anonymous phone call about the federal lawsuit against J.D. Madison, often seen as Thomas Ravenel’s sidekick on Southern Charm, the editors did some digging and found the official Charleston County Magistrate complaint against The Gentry, formerly known as Sermets, and J.D. Madison.
The lawsuit was based on a signed agreement between J.D. Madison and the landlord/owner of 276 King Street for Madison to “hand-deliver $144,844.52 back rent.” The agreement was signed off on by Charleston County Magistrate Judge Jennifer B. McCoy on Aug. 18, 2017, with the understanding that Madison would pay the above amount by August 25. The lawsuit was filed, and the landlord says owners of The Gentry were evicted after Madison failed to comply with the renegotiated terms.
Mark Regalbuto, the local managing business partner for Jenel Management Corporation, which manages the King Street location, said that they are seeking the back rent from J.D. Madison, and were forced to evict him and The Gentry from the location.
“The order of the eviction speaks for itself. By no fault of the landlord, the tenant became seriously delinquent on his rent. The tenant agreed to the order in an attempt to forestall eviction and raise past due rents. Based on promises made by the tenant, the ownership gave the tenant additional time to raise the funds needed. That timeline was not met. It is important to note that the landlord had not yet attempted to renegotiate the lease to this point. It was only after the landlord had the absolute right to evict, based on countless promises that were never kept, did the landlord desire to renegotiate the lease due to its lack of faith in the tenant. After two weeks of negotiation and nonpayment of rent for September, and having received none of the past due rent and no firm commitment as to if and when it might be delivered, landlord acted on its right to evict.”
The case has now been moved from the Charleston County court to federal court. The Charleston City Paper reached out to J.D. Madison for a comment, and Madison claimed he was not aware of any lawsuit.
RELATED REPORTS BY THE INQUISITR
The restaurant and bar had been at the King Street address for less than a year and was reviewed as a place where a tourist might run into a Southern Charm cast member. The website for Gentry is still up and running at this time, with no mention that J.D. Madison has closed the King Street location.
Do you think that Southern Charm sidekick J.D. Madison really knows nothing about the lawsuit after being evicted from the King Street address?
[Featured Image by Bravo TV]