‘Southern Charm’ Star Thomas Ravenel Is Used To Getting Special Treatment In Legal Matters

Charleston Police chose not to charge Ravenel for an ATV accident on his plantation while he was on probation for a cocaine conviction

Ravenel's Brookland Plantation
Bravotv / NBC Universal

Charleston Police chose not to charge Ravenel for an ATV accident on his plantation while he was on probation for a cocaine conviction

Southern Charm star Thomas Ravenel is currently under investigation by the Charleston Police after he was accused of rape by his children’s former nanny, and he has also been accused of paying off another sexual assault victim $200k after a Tinder date. Lastly, a third woman who dated him says that Ravenel and his current girlfriend have been cyber stalking her, and legal action is in the works.

But Thomas Ravenel continues business as usual and doesn’t seem concerned. The former South Carolina Treasurer has lived in Charleston most of his life and has largely gone unscathed except for the matter of the federal government charges against him in 2007 for purchasing cocaine and sharing it with friends, says CBS. For this, Ravenel spent 10 months in federal prison and then spent the next several years on probation.

Ravenel complained that he was treated unfairly by the feds and that he got the same punishment as his drug dealer. With his political career behind him, he started on the Bravo show Southern Charm where he casually joked about his cocaine charges, saying that he was not a drug user, he just “liked the way it smelled.”

But now that the Charleston Police acknowledge that Ravenel is under investigation, he doesn’t seem too concerned, as not even Bravo has officially pulled the plug on his employment, despite the fact that the woman accusing him of rape was on Southern Charm for the first two seasons.

Perhaps it’s because Ravenel has always enjoyed a friendly relationship with the Charleston Police, and he trusts them to be fair to him. Back in 2010, there was an ATV accident at Thomas’ Edisto Island home, Brookland Plantation says the Post and Courier. Ravenel called it a “freak accident” when a friend lost his leg when an ATV rolled, pinning Kenneth M. “Marty” Boissoneault’s leg underneath. Ravenel was driving the four-wheeled Kawasaki Mule when it unexpectedly flipped, and neither man was wearing a seatbelt. Ravenel fell on his friend and was unhurt, but Boissoneault was airlifted and taken to the hospital where his leg was amputated.

Ravenel explained that the tires of the ATV must have gotten snared in the grass and that they were only doing approximately 10 miles per hour. Maj. John Clark of the Charleston County Sheriff’s office made a statement for the Post and Courier saying that no drugs or alcohol were involved in the matter, but legal action by Boissoneault claimed that both men were intoxicated at the time of the tragic accident.

But South Carolina Lawyers Weekly tells a different story, as the plaintiff, Kenneth Boissoneault (now deceased) successfully settled with Thomas Ravenel for $2.2 million. Charleston lawyer David Yarborough made what is called a Tyger River demand on Ravenel’s insurance company, Fireman’s Fund Insurance, and rather than go to court on the matter, the parties settled for $2.2 million. Yarborough thought that Ravenel and the insurance company would prefer to settle for the amount listed than risk a much larger amount in court.

Kenneth Boissoneault had already suffered economic losses at the time of the settlement, and the loss of his lower right leg (right tibia-fibula open fractures resulting in a below-the-knee amputation) was going to limit his future earnings, says Yarborough.

“He had a 30 percent whole-person impairment rating and he was going to have to wear a prosthetic device for the rest of his life. In a case of clear liability, which we believed this was, with potential for punitive exposure, the damages clearly could have exceeded the available policy limits.”

But the matter in the case that stood out in the negligence matter according to Yarborough was negligence on the part of Boissoneault and Ravenel, as both men had been drinking at the time of the accident, despite what the Charleston County officials had said.

“There was one problem for the plaintiff: Evidence that he and the defendant had been drinking alcohol on the day of the rollover.”

The plaintiff said that Ravenel had made the turn too suddenly which led to the rollover, but Yarborough said that an impaired driver was the reason for the rollover, even if the plaintiff had also been drinking.

“It cut both ways because the driver, obviously, should not have been operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol. We believed that a jury would or could potentially bring back an actual damages verdict that exceeded the available policy limits as well as a punitive damages verdict that would have put the defendant’s assets at great risk.”

Ravenel agreed to pay the plaintiff’s estate but did not ultimately face any charges from Charleston County Police for operating an ATV while drinking, and all matters were settled out of court.