Last month details emerged about a pretty horrendous sexual assault case settlement involving Southern Charm bad boy Thomas Ravenel, and now the reality show’s production team and the Bravo network are investigating the claims.
When real estate agent and model Ashley Perkins introduced her mom to Tinder, she thought it would a fun experience for Debbie Holloway Perkins. The experienced led to alleged violent encounter with a reality star and politician. Ashley writes on her website that she “will ALWAYS regret introducing my mom to Tinder – Mainly I will always feel guilty for encouraging her to go on a ‘date’ with Thomas Ravenel. Our world has never been the same.”
The Night of the Alleged Incident
Ashley Perkins now resides in Panama City, Florida, but she and her mother were living in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina in 2015 when the incident took place.
Debbie decided to meet Ravenel two months after she started to communicate with him via Tinder, and Ashley says she could tell things were off right away. Her mom let her listen to a voicemail Ravenel left her where Ashley thought he sounded intoxicated already.
Before her mom’s evening out, Ashley helped her pic out her jewelry and said her wrists were unmarked before she left. Ashley documented her mom’s bruised wrists when she returned from her allegedly horrific encounter and shared the photos on Twitter last month.
Bravo star, #RavenelBridge from Southern Charm settled with a local resident, my mother, 2 years ago over a sexual assault charge with Gloria Allred leading the mediation.#Thomasravenel #WomenMatter @Bravotv @kathryn_dennis @TMZ @DailyMail @Andy #SouthernCharm @PerezHilton pic.twitter.com/mEloeRwY4N
— 🌴 Ashley Perkins 🌴 (@AshleyPerkins89) April 13, 2018
According to Ashley’s recounting to People, they were supposed to go out for drinks, but once he picked up Debbie he suggested they go to his house so Debbie, a real estate agent like her daughter, could check out his new house. After a brief tour he took her to the guest house, which is where things got out of hand.
From the nanny’s room in the guest house he pointed to a bathroom and said “That’s where I caught Kathryn making out with some guy.” Kathryn is Ravenel’s ex-girlfriend who shares two children with him. The pair have an a extremely rocky relationship that’s been documented on Southern Charm. (In 2017 he won custody over their two children because of Kathryn Dennis’ addiction struggles. She is currently sober and working to regain custody.) It was at this moment, when he pointed at the bathroom where he “caught” his ex, that he reportedly went into a “trance” and allegedly assaulted Debbie.
“He touches every part of my body while I am screaming for him to stop,” Debbie wrote about the encounter in a Facebook message to a lawyer involved in the case. “He refuses. At some point he manages to free his private parts and shoves it in my face.” Debbie then screamed at him and called him a rapist, which snapped him out of his “trance.”
Ravenel then allegedly told Debbie to “get herself an Uber,” something she wasn’t familiar with doing. Once she returned home, Ashley says her mother became withdrawn before finally confiding in Ashley what happened.
“My client enjoys a certain degree of fame and unfortunately has become – unfairly – a target for an individual who has, in my opinion, dubious motivations,” Ravenel’s attorney Richard P. Terbrusch told PEOPLE in regards to Ashley Perkins’ story about her mother.
The $200k Settlement
On June 1, 2016 Debbie and Ashley Perkins reportedly when to a mediation and settlement meeting where Ashely’s mother signed a nondisclosure agreement and received $200,000. Ashely did not sign a nondisclosure, which is why she is speaking out about the alleged behavior of Thomas Ravenel.
In a statement provided to People on Friday, Bravo revealed that there is an investigation underway and “action” may be taken.
“Haymaker, the production company for Southern Charm, and Bravo take allegations like these very seriously.Haymaker is conducting an investigation, and once all the information is gathered and carefully reviewed, appropriate action will be taken.”
Amelia Cunningham is a Starcasm writer and editor