Disgraced politician and former reality television star Thomas Ravenel has until the beginning of June to decide whether to accept a negotiated plea agreement in connection with his September 2018 arrest on a second degree assault and battery charge.
First, he could agree to plead guilty to the charge currently filed against him – and likely receive some degree of leniency on the sentence recommended by prosecutors in South Carolina’s ninth judicial circuit.
Second, he could reject a negotiated plea and stand trial – likely on a felony first degree assault charge.
There is no door number three …
Ravenel was originally supposed to have picked his poison at the beginning of this month, but prosecutors have reportedly allowed him a few additional weeks to make his decision.
We last reported on Ravenel’s plea negotiations in late February. Since then, he has drawn criticism for dragging his alleged victim – Dawn Ledwell – and her husband into his caustic custody battle with Southern Charm star Kathryn Calhoun Dennis (below), who has two children with Ravenel.
(Click to view)
To read the latest on that drama, click here …
Ravenel, 56, is a veritable litigation magnet these days. In addition to his looming criminal case and ongoing custody battle, he is also named in a civil lawsuit filed by Ledwell – a suit that lists NBC Universal, Comcast and Southern Charm’s production company, Haymaker, as co-defendants.
According to this suit, the corporate defendants “created, permitted and encouraged Southern Charm plot lines that focus on alcohol, sexual encounters, and the concept that male cast members, including Defendant Ravenel, suffer from ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’ and they are the ‘Lost Boys’ and Charleston (S.C.) is their ‘Neverland.’”
The suit also claims the show’s producers “failed to investigate” sexual abuse allegations against Ravenel – which is consistent with what our sources have told us.
Meanwhile, Ravenel is suing Bravo TV in an effort to keep the network from airing certain storylines related to him during Southern Charm’s upcoming sixth season – which premieres on Wednesday May 15, 2019 at 9:00 p.m. EDT.
That reminds us, our intrepid columnist Amy Feinstein – whose articles about these episodes and their attendant dramas have become crowd favorites here on FITSNews – is back this year to review these episodes on the evenings which they air.
So stay tuned for her first installment next week …
Elected treasurer of South Carolina in 2006 (at the age of 42), Ravenel was forced to step down the following year after being arrested on federal drug charges. He eventually pleaded guilty in connection with that case and served ten months in a federal prison.
Ravenel ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2004 as a Republican – finishing third in a GOP primary election. In 2014 he ran as a petition candidate for the U.S. Senate, finishing a distant third place in that year’s general election.
Prior to his 2007 arrest, Ravenel was viewed as one of the rising stars of the South Carolina Republican party.
In addition to his arrest in connection with the alleged assault of Ledwell, Ravenel was accused of settling out of court with another alleged assault victim in July of 2016. Those reports were advanced by the daughter of the victim, Florida-based model and real estate agent Ashley Perkins – however Perkins has ironically emerged as a supporter of Ravenel in his case against Ledwell.
Ravenel has issued a blanket denial in the past regarding any allegations of assault involving female victims.
“I’ve never assaulted a woman in my life,” he told us last April.
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