Before Thomas Ravenel was on the Bravo series Southern Charm, and before his recent arrest in Charleston on charges that he assaulted the former family nanny, he was advising Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, in his bid for the U.S. presidency.
In a YouTube video from April, 2007, Ravenel, who was still seen as a political rising star, introduces and endorses Giuliani to a crowded room at his Church Street mansion in Charleston.
The Post and Courier described the event as a star-making moment for Ravenel, who had recently been elected treasurer for the state of South Carolina, and had just signed on to be the campaign manager for the New York mayor. The buzz that day was about Giuliani’s campaign, but it was also about the idea that maybe Ravenel could challenge Republican senator Lindsey Graham in 2008.
Mark Hartley, the former Charleston County Republican Party chairman, said that at that moment, Ravenel had more promise than anyone in the state party.
“Until (last) Tuesday, he was the party’s rising star. A lot of folks in politics come up through the law ranks. Thomas’ background in business gave him some unique assets.”
But when Hartley talks about “last Tuesday,” he’s talking about the day that Ravenel went from being Giuliani’s campaign manager and the state treasurer, to being under arrest and charged with cocaine distribution and use.
Once upon a time Thomas Ravenel was South Carolina’s state treasurer and a rising GOP star under his congressman dad. And then like a month after he was hired as a presidential campaign adviser to Rudy Giuliani, he got arrested for cocaine distribution. https://t.co/M1im9rm8Gw
— Gabrielle Bluestone (@g_bluestone) May 14, 2019
While many associates say they were “shocked” that Ravenel was involved with cocaine, others said it was not surprising that the politician liked to have a good time.
Between Ravenel’s initial arrest and his arraignment in 2007, he was dropped by Giuliani, and was not seen publicly until he was officially charged on July 9 in Columbia, South Carolina.
Bustle revealed that before Ravenel was on Southern Charm, his life was already a reality show with roller coaster rises and falls. Before he signed on to do the Bravo show where he would meet and have two children with co-star Kathryn Dennis, Ravenel had already been married and divorced, engaged two more times — ending up in court in 2011 to get an engagement ring back from former fiancee, Danielle Tosi — and sentenced to 10 months in federal prison after taking a plea deal on the cocaine charges.
Before the former state treasurer was involved in his current legal mess, Ravenel also found himself under arrest in the Hamptons in 2013, when he was charged with drunken driving.
Ravenel has a court date this week, along with his family nanny, to set a trial date for the civil part of their conflict.