More behind-the-scenes scandals have been erupting on the hit Bravo show Southern Charm, including accusations that cast member Thomas Ravenel and his lawyer settled a sexual assault lawsuit with a woman represented by famed lawyer Gloria Allred back in 2016. Will Folks of Fitsnews broke the story on April 14, setting off a firestorm of online activity surrounding a real estate agent, Ashley Perkins, who told the story of her mother's reported sexual assault and settlement with Ravenel. When Will Folks contacted Southern Charm star Thomas Ravenel to let him know that the article was running and to ask him to comment, Ravenel pushed back.
Will Folks Served As Thomas Ravenel's Campaign Co-Manager Back In 2006
Will Folks, who has known Thomas Ravenel for 15 years, worked as co-manager of his 2006 South Carolina state treasurer's campaign and briefly consulted on his national 2014 run for office, contacted Ravenel as a courtesy before running his article about the reported Ravenel sexual assault settlement and was met with threats of legal action.
Folks tweeted that Ravenel threatened FitsNews if he ran the story about the alleged sexual assault and settlement through mediation with Gloria Allred.
@ThomasRavenel of #SouthernCharm has just threatened my news site [Fitsnews] with a lawsuit if we run a story on the allegations referenced in the tweets by @AshleyPerkins89."
Will Folks Spoke To Ashley Perkins And Asked Thomas Ravenel To Comment
Undeterred, Will Folks published his article about Ravenel's current scandal on Fitsnews, sharing a three-year glimpse into texts sent by Ashley Perkins and her mother (who will remain nameless out of respect for rape shield laws) following what they claim was a December 2015 sexual assault that Perkins says left her mother bruised and traumatized.
Folks spoke at length to Ashley Perkins and compiled a timeline of texts sent to another Southern Charm cast member that started on December 31, 2015 (allegedly a week after the assault). The initial texts included photos of bruised wrists the victim says happened during the assault.
"Yes, he did that to me while physically restraining me."
The victim also included Thomas Ravenel's personal cell phone number to convince the Southern Charm cast member that she indeed knew Ravenel.
"Thomas cannot assume he has the right and privilege to touch a woman any way he wants just because he feels like it. If a woman says no, he is like a little toddler and needs to learn to respect that word."
The victim added that she had already sought advice from an attorney in the matter, which led to the alleged sexual assault settlement courtesy of Gloria Allred.
"I don't know where it will lead, if anywhere. But I can assure you that his controlling and scary personality isn't going to put me in a corner. I have friends in the legal profession who are advising me on how to move forward."
After Folks researched his article and contacted Thomas Ravenel, the only comment fit to print on the claim that he had settled a sexual assault claim for $200,000 back in 2016 was essentially no comment.
"I don't comment on rumors is my comment."
Ravenel is known for sharing many thoughts on Twitter and Instagram, but he has remained mum on the current claims published by Fitsnews. Instead, Ravenel has been rather quiet and blocked Folks on Twitter.
"Funny. I think I've been blocked and unblocked by
@ThomasRavenel a dozen times over the years. Oh well... my news site went WAY out of our way to shoot straight with him in our recent coverage."
On Her Blog, Ashley Perkins Provided Evidence Of Her Mother's Claims About Thomas Ravenel
Even though the alleged settlement agreement bars the mother of Ashley Perkins from sharing a first-person account of what she claims was an assault at the hands of Thomas Ravenel, Perkins did not sign a non-disclosure agreement, despite witnessing the mediation proceedings. On her official website, Perkins is sharing details of her mother's story along with an audio tape with Ravenel's voice telling Perkins' mother that he had arrived at her apartment.
Ashley Perkins says she is now telling the story of what her mother claims happened so that other women will come forward and Ravenel can be confronted.