'Southern Charm' Star J.D. Madison's Sexual Assault Accuser Speaks Out

"Susan is going to fight this unfair, unfounded charge," Susan Johnson's attorney Trey Harrell said in a statement to PEOPLE on Thursday following her charge of filing a false police report of a felony


Southern Charm star John David “J.D.” Madison’s sexual assault accuser is speaking out.

Five months after an incident report was filed against the South Carolina businessman, Susan Johnson has been charged with filing a false police report of a felony in Madison’s case — and she’s fighting back while maintaining her innocence.

In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, Johnson’s attorney Trey Harrell said that the charge is “unfair” and “unfounded.”

“Susan is going to fight this unfair, unfounded charge. She was severely intoxicated on the night in question and so naturally there are some inconsistencies in her recollection. Such inconsistencies do not make her a liar, and they certainly do not make her a criminal,” Harrell said of Johnson, 43, who was booked and released on her own recognizance in Charleston on Thursday, according to Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.

Susan Johnson. Courtesy Susan Johnson

“Susan does not remember sending any of the messages — or making any of the phone calls — that police are using as ‘evidence’ to dispute her recollection of what happened. And the fact police are charging her based on their ‘belief’ that she lied about what happened is absolutely unconscionable,” said Harrell.

He continued, “Not only is such a charge unfair to my client, it could have a chilling effect on other women who believe they have been similarly victimized.”

“My client is innocent of this charge and intends to defend herself vigorously in court,” said Johnson’s attorney.

But according to the arrest warrant affidavit obtained by PEOPLE, Detective Daniel Neese of the Mount Pleasant Police Department said that Johnson had indicated she was hoping to make money off of the alleged encounter.

“Approximately a year” after the alleged incident, “Susan Johnson reported a Criminal Sexual conduct in the 1st degree … which is punishable for not more than 30 years in prison,” the affidavit states.

“Johnson then expressed to her friend (female witness) that if they stick together that they stand a chance to make money and in a separate text the suspect referred to talking to an attorney and going for big bucks,” the affidavit continues.

An attorney for Madison — who was not arrested regarding these allegations — did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Last summer, an incident report was filed on Aug. 25 with the Mount Pleasant Police Department against Madison — a close friend of Thomas Ravenel‘s who has long appeared as a guest on the hit Bravo show. (In September, Ravenel was arrested and charged with assault and battery in the second degree following allegations of sexual assault brought against him by his children’s former nanny.)

According to papers obtained by PEOPLE and first reported by FITSNews’ Amy Feinstein, allegations of rape, sexual assault and involuntary drugging were made against the married father of four by a South Carolina female, whose name was redacted by authorities. PEOPLE has confirmed that the woman is Johnson.

She told police that on the evening of Aug. 21, 2017, she, Madison, his male friend, and another female friend gathered at her house for a drink before heading out to a local bar. While there, she claims Madison intentionally broke a glass — and as she cleaned it up, he “slipped a drug” in her already-poured drink on the counter.

Southern Charm - Season 5
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The victim alleges that after finishing the drink, she was in and out of consciousness. She says she remembers going to the bar, but “not feeling right” while there. “This is when she stated that she felt like she might have been drugged,” the police report states.

Later, in the early hours of Aug. 22, the victim woke up in the guest bedroom of her home where Madison was “forcibly raping and sodomizing her,” she alleges.

Feinstein, who talked to the victim, wrote that the victim claimed the alleged attack only stopped when Madison received a phone call from his wife, Elizabeth.

Mount Pleasant police told PEOPLE they were investigating the allegations. Reps for Bravo and Madison did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment at the time.

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