Thomas Ravenel Has Not Been Fired from Southern Charm Amid Assault Allegations, Source Says
Despite reports that Ravenel was fired from the hit Bravo show amid allegations of sexual assault, a source tells PEOPLE the reality star still has his job — for now.
“No decision has been made yet and the investigation is still ongoing,” a source close to the network says.
The reality star, 55, has been a key cast member of the show since season one, with his tumultuous relationship with ex Kathryn Dennis and the birth of his two children playing out on screen.
Rumors that Ravenel was fired started after he was accused of sexual assault by multiple women.
In May, it was revealed that the South Carolina police are investigating allegations of sexual assault brought against the Southern Charm star by “nanny Dawn,” who was featured on the show caring for Ravenel’s two children, daughter Kensie, 4, and son Saint, 2½.
Dawn claimed Ravenel attempted to kiss her after coming back from a night out with friends.
“I told him ‘this isn’t appropriate. I work for you.’ He then hugged me as an alternative,” she told PEOPLE. “I had baby bottles in my hands, so I couldn’t hug him. It felt like he was putting his weight on me.”
After suggesting Ravenel go upstairs, Dawn said the incident escalated.
“I went upstairs to get my jacket which had the key to my vehicle in the pocket. I was corralled into the master bedroom and he shut the door behind me. I turned around and he had his pants dropped, not wearing underwear,” she said. “He was blocking the door. I was mortified, embarrassed, and scared.”
“I was unsure what to do because Kensie was sleeping very close by,” she continued. “He proceeded to rip my clothes off, and I struggled to redress. I remember how worried I was that I may have to run outside in the January cold without clothes on and in an upscale neighborhood. I lived almost an hour away so I would have to drive home naked.”
Without going into further detail, Dawn said she eventually got away from Ravenel, who she said is now being investigated for “first-degree forcible rape.”
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Dawn, 43, said she was empowered to come forward by real estate agent Ashley Perkins’ recent decision to share her mother’s story. Ashley has alleged that her mom Debbie Holloway Perkins was assaulted by Ravenel after meeting him on Tinder in October 2015 and going on a last-minute first date with him on Dec. 25 of that year.
Ashley — who told PEOPLE she did not witness the alleged assault — said her mother “acted very withdrawn” after the date before she confided in her daughter that Ravenel “stuck his penis in my face.” She also accused Ravenel of holding her mom’s arms back and sticking his fingers inside her vagina and anus.
On June 1, 2016, Debbie and Ashley allegedly participated in mediation with Ravenel and his lawyer. (Ashley says attorney Gloria Allred took on their case; Allred declined to comment when contacted by PEOPLE.) According to Ashley, her mother signed a non-disclosure agreement with Ravenel and received $200,000.
Ravenel has denied the accusations.
“My client enjoys a certain degree of fame, which has unfortunately made him a vulnerable target for such claims,” Ravenel’s attorney, Richard P. Terbrusch, told PEOPLE in a statement responding to Ashley’s allegations. “The person this woman describes is simply not the man that I know. My client is a loving father, successful businessman, and upright member of the community. He is appalled and hurt by these allegations — and is committed to defending his reputation in the appropriate legal forum.”
At the time, the production company behind the hit Bravo series announced it was looking into the sexual assault allegations against Ravenel.
“Haymaker, the production company for Southern Charm, and Bravo take allegations like these very seriously,” Bravo said in a statement. “Haymaker is conducting an investigation, and once all the information is gathered and carefully reviewed, appropriate action will be taken.”