REALITY TV COURT DRAMA TO REMAIN PART OF PUBLIC RECORD
A contentious child custody case between reality television stars Thomas Ravenel and Kathryn Dennis will remain part of the public record. A family court judge in Charleston, S.C. has opted against sealing the case – a rare victory for freedom of the press in a state which routinely seals high-profile family court cases (like this one involving S.C. governor Nikki Haley‘s top political operative).
As reported exclusively by this website, Ravenel is suing Dennis over custody and visitation matters related to their children – two-year-old daughter Kensington Calhoun Ravenel and seven-month-old son St. Julien Rembert Ravenel (a.k.a. “Saint”).
Ravenel and Dennis are the stars of Southern Charm – a Charleston, S.C.-based reality television series currently in its third season on Bravo TV.
The case has already generated some pretty seismic headlines – most notably allegations that Dennis, 24, failed a court-ordered drug test (news that was also exclusively reported by this website).
Ravenel, 54, reportedly passed one drug test but declined to take a more thorough examination.
“He’s got his own issues with these drug tests,” a source close to the case told us.
Two-and-a-half months ago, this website reported on allegations that Dennis smoked marijuana while pregnant – a report which prompted a lawsuit threat against this website from her agent.
We stood by our reporting – and no lawsuit was filed.
To her credit, Dennis provided the court with body hair samples from her arms, legs, neck and back. Ravenel allegedly refused to submit body hair for testing – allowing only a sample of hair to be taken from the top of his head.
Body hair tests can reveal evidence of drug use dating back anywhere from six months to a year – while head hair tests typically provide only a three-month window. Head hair tests can also be beaten fairly easily by using drug detoxification shampoos.
Ravenel emphatically denied that he declined to provide samples to the court.
“I never refused any hair testing,” he told us. “The testing company took hair off (Kathryn)’s body because her head hair had been bleached and dyed so many times that it wouldn’t render a valid sample. My head hair has not been bleached or dyed. The samples were sent to a lab and tested for ten different substances. We both were subject to the same tests. We also were subjected to blood and urine tests.”
Obviously we’ll know a lot more about “who took what test” now that the courts have agreed to keep this case open.
Ravenel and Dennis’ combustible relationship has been a ratings bonanza for Bravo TV – which has aired three seasons of Southern Charm to steadily expanding audiences.
The first installment of a third season reunion show is scheduled to air this Monday (June 27).