BRAVO TV’S #METOO PROBLEM ESCALATES …
Multiple sources familiar with the situation tell us detectives with the city of Charleston, South Carolina police department have launched a preliminary inquiry into similar allegations involving the 55-year-old playboy.
This latest inquiry reportedly began with a five-hour interview on Monday morning/ early afternoon between Charleston detectives and one of Ravenel’s alleged victims – who spoke exclusively with FITSNews.com in the aftermath of her marathon session at police headquarters (180 Lockwood Boulevard, Charleston S.C. 29403).
“I told them the truth about what happened to me,” the woman said. “They are investigating him.”
In keeping with our policy regarding the identification of alleged sexual assault victims, we are withholding this woman’s name until such a time as she chooses to make a public statement in connection with this case.
In addition to offering her account of what she claimed happened to her at Ravenel’s hands, the woman also provided detailed information to help corroborate her allegations against the Southern Charm star – who is already dealing with one major #MeToo scandal.
For those of you who missed it, Fox News, People, Page Six, The Daily Mail and numerous other media outlets around the globe reported on the initial round of sexual assault allegations against the former South Carolina state treasurer last week.
These allegations were first reported by this news site back on April 14. Days later they were reinforced by Florida-based model and real estate agent Ashley Perkins, who has been waging a month-long social media crusade aimed at exposing the former Palmetto State politician.
According to the 29-year-old, she was present for a mediation hearing at the Belmond Charleston Place Hotel in June of 2016 in which Ravenel settled a sexual assault allegation involving Perkins’ mother, a 53-year-old Florida real estate agent.
This settlement was said to have included a low six-figure payout to Perkins’ mother in exchange for her signature on a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that would bar her from discussing the matter in the future.
Such an NDA would likely prohibit Perkins’ mother from participating in Bravo TV’s so-called “investigation” of the claims against Ravenel (a probe in which we have very little confidence) but it remains to be seen whether it would preclude her from participating in a criminal investigation into the disgraced politician.
Southern Charm cast members have reportedly been ordered by the network to refrain from commenting publicly on the allegations against Ravenel, whose combustible relationship with co-star Kathryn Dennis has driven the show’s recent ratings surge.
“Bravo called the cast and directed them not to answer any questions,” a source close to the show told us.
Two cast members confirmed to us that they were “asked” or “encouraged” not to respond to media inquiries about the allegations.
In their conversation, Ravenel told Washington he would never “behave ungentlemanly” toward a woman. Of course he also extensively discussed “secret settlements” related to sexual assault claims – exactly the sort of settlement he is alleged to have entered into with Perkins’ mother two years ago.
“You hear about these secret, um, settlements you know … some woman may come out and say ‘hey, you made an unwarranted advance,’” Ravenel told Washington. “And they guy may say ‘well I didn’t really do anything, you know, I didn’t do anything untoward however I will pay you to make it so – so you don’t make an allegation.’ Just the mere hint of an allegation could destroy someone.”
Prior to our news site breaking this story on April 14, Ravenel threatened to sue this news site. Such action has not been forthcoming, however Ravenel’s Connecticut counsel, Richard P. Terbrusch, has previously referred to Perkins’ claims as “reckless, false and defamatory.”
“Such rashness will be regretted,” he told us last month.
Terbrusch has also called into question Perkin’s motivation for coming forward.
“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,” he told People last week.
Terbrusch did not elaborate on what Perkins’ alleged “dubious motivations” might be.
According to the Panama City Beach resident, she decided to come forward with her story after seeing Ravenel in a Southern Charm promo earlier this spring.
“Something about seeing the smug look on his face and his exaggerated swagger just hit me the wrong way,” she told us. “All I could think was about the damage he caused my mother emotionally and the toll his actions took on her personally. My Mom will never be the same trusting person again and I blame him for this. When I saw his smug face on the (television) carrying on with his life completely unaffected by his actions, I guess I saw red.”
(Click to view)
Ravenel (above) has declined to comment for our stories, however he has previously issued a blanket denial in response to any allegation of sexual assault against a woman.
“I’ve never assaulted a woman in my life,” he told us last month.
Ravenel was elected treasurer of South Carolina in 2006, but was forced to step down the following year after being arrested on drug charges. He ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2004 as a “Republican” and again in 2014 as a petition candidate.
Whatever Perkins’ motivation was for coming forward, it soon became clear she wasn’t pulling the allegation out of thin air.
Prior to publishing our initial story on the alleged assault against her mother, we were able to link Perkins’ tweets with a series of social media messages sent by the alleged victim to a Southern Charm cast member back in December 2015 – in the immediate aftermath of the alleged attack. We have also obtained Facebook messages in which Ravenel’s alleged accuser reached out to a Columbia, S.C. attorney in the immediate aftermath of the alleged assault.
“He touches every part of my body while I am screaming for him to stop,” the victim wrote in the Facebook message to the lawyer. “He refuses. At some point he manages to free his private parts and shoves it in my face.”
“T-Rav is notorious for that,” the lawyer responded, referring to Ravenel’s nickname.
Furthermore, this week we obtained emails documenting Perkins’ appearance at the June 2016 mediation hearing – which involved legendary feminist attorney Gloria Allred.
To be clear: This news site has consistently argued that Ravenel should be afforded every opportunity to refute these allegations.
“It’s important to give Ravenel (or anyone else similarly accused) the benefit of the doubt,” we wrote in breaking this story last month. “Let’s be honest: Ravenel is rich. And famous. And the subject of all sorts of allegations. The guy wears a bullseye on his back (one he often paints on himself, it’s true). As such, he has frequently been the target of what he calls ‘scurrilous rumors’ (not all of which are true or even half-true).”
In fact we wrote that after he threatened to sue us.
Stay tuned … we are in the process of submitting Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the Charleston, S.C. police department in the hopes of obtaining incident reports or other publicly available documentation related to the Ravenel investigation.
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