Disgraced politician and former reality television star Thomas Ravenel appeared in a Charleston County, South Carolina courtroom on Wednesday morning.
Ravenel was seen entering a courtroom where S.C. circuit court judge Bentley Price was scheduled to hear “non-jury” matters.
According to our sources, the 57-year-old and his legal team have been in tense negotiations over a possible plea deal related to his September 2018 arrest on an assault charge involving his children’s former nanny, Dawn Ledwell (below).
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Ravenel was reportedly scheduled to appear in court last week, but that hearing was cancelled as a result of evacuations related to the impending arrival of Hurricane Dorian off the South Carolina coast.
Ravenel’s criminal case is just one of the many legal battles in which he and his attorneys are engaged.
Among them? His ongoing, high-profile custody battle with former girlfriend and Southern Charm star Kathryn Calhoun Dennis – the mother of his two children.
Ravenel has previously drawn criticism for dragging Ledwell and her husband into his caustic custody battle with Dennis (below).
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In addition to cooperating with investigators in Ravenel’s criminal case, Ledwell has also filed a civil lawsuit against the aging playboy 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.
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.
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(Via: Ravenel for Senate)
Ravenel (above) 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.
UPDATE: Ravenel has pleaded guilty to third degree assault and battery.
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(VIA: GETTY IMAGES)