The untold truth of Thomas Ravenel

Bravo confirmed Thomas Ravenel's exit from Southern Charm in September 2018, shortly after he was charged with assault and battery in the second degree against his children's former nanny. The details surrounding the arrest likely disturbed many people, to put it mildly, and fans probably wondered just how the show planned to address this shocking development. Although it's not clear what Ravenel's future holds, it's probably safe to say many fans don't know the full story about his life.

Take Ravenel's complicated childhood, for instance. Not many people are aware that Ravenel spent a good chunk of his childhood alone after his parents split and his siblings moved out of the house. And what about Ravenel's curious relationship with his on-and-off girlfriend Ashley Jacobs? Although the couple reportedly split in August 2018, there have since been several sightings of the two out and about in good ol' Charleston, S.C. 

Of course, these aren't the only details we have to share — here is the untold truth of Thomas Ravenel. 

His 'tramautic' childhood

During Ravenel's time on Southern Charm, viewers got to meet his dad, Arthur Ravenel Jr., a former United States Senator and Congressman of South Carolina. Although the pair's relationship appears fine these days, it turns out Ravenel didn't spend much time with Arthur following his parents' divorce. And after the businessman's parents split when he was 10 years old, his entire family disbanded in different directions. Ravenel explained during a March 2013 interview on Quintin's Close-Ups that his mother, Louise Rodgers, started a new career that often kept her out of the house, while four of his siblings either got married or went to college. Additionally, Ravenel's older brother William, who has Down syndrome, was sent to live in a group home. 

"It was tough, you know, losing all of these people one by one. Everybody started leaving. It was traumatic, you know, as a kid," Ravenel shared in the interview. "Losing your parents, you know — effectively. Your mom not being there. Your dad leaving. It had an effect on me. To this day, I'm single, not married. I've had problems with commitments."

Hmm… sounds like Ravenel has some things he needs to work through.

His shocking cocaine bust

Ravenel shocked South Carolina's constituents in September 2007 when he was indicted on federal cocaine distribution charges. Making matters even wilder? Ravenel — who pled guilty to "one count of conspiracy with intent to distribute cocaine" — was the state's treasurer at the time. You can't make this stuff up.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Anderson Jr., who presided over the case, sentenced Ravenel to ten months in prison for his actions, and the ex-reality star resigned from his prestigious position. The judge's serious sentence was likely influenced by a witness who testified that Ravenel allegedly "used cocaine at 27 of 30 parties held at his downtown Charleston home," according to The Post and Courier. Anderson, who was clearly disturbed by the allegations, said at the time, "We have an awful lot of cocaine parties at the house of a state constitutional officer."

Ravenel was apologetic about his actions, telling Anderson, "I brought embarrassment, being a public official, to the state. [Voters] had a right to expect better conduct, better behavior, from me."

During Ravenel's bid for a Senate seat in 2014, however, he poked fun at his legal troubles. "I'll raise the roof, but I won't raise your taxes," he joked to voters in a campaign ad. Sigh.

About those sexual assault allegations...

Ravenel faced more scandal in May 2018 when real estate agent Ashley Perkins alleged to People that her mother, Debbie Holloway Perkins, was sexually assaulted by the businessman in December 2015 after a Tinder date. 

Although Ravenel has denied Ashley and Debbie's allegations, there's supposed evidence that Ravenel hoped to keep the situation under wraps. Just ask Ashley, who claimed Ravenel paid Debbie a big check in exchange for her silence. "They ended up settling for $200,000," Ashley told People at the time, claiming that Debbie was unable to speak out about the alleged incident because she signed a non-disclosure agreement.

But things got even more troubling when the former nanny of Ravenel's children "filed a police report charging him with forcible rape" in 2015, as reported Page Six. Authorities must have found the claim credible because in September 2018 Ravenel was charged with assault and battery in the second degree, according to People.

As for Bravo's reaction? The network confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter on Sept. 25, 2018, that Ravenel would no longer appear on Southern Charm. Ravenel's relationship with the network had probably already rocky, as he didn't have kind words for Bravo in an August 2018 tweet, writing, "In the contract they have the right to fictionalize your story. They took advantage of me. I decided I've got too much to lose and informed them I'm not coming back." Wow.

His strange attack against Craig Conover

Once Ravenel bid adieu to Bravo, he took to Twitter to share his real feelings about his former castmates. The ex-reality star took most of his anger out on Craig Conover, alleging that he was the one who got his ex-girlfriend and mother of his children Kathryn Dennis supposedly hooked on drugs. Making matters even worse? Ravenel also threw in a dig about Conover's ex Naomie Olindo, who went on to date an anesthesiology doctor after their split in September 2017.

"So glad Naomie found a real man who gets up early in the morning and works all day," Ravenel tweeted in September 2018, as reported by Reality Blurb. "Craig is a p***y who Kept Kathryn out all night doing drugs while I was alone with baby Kensie. Great guy." 

Yikes. Tell us how you really feel, Ravenel.

Although Conover could have responded to his ex-castmate's jab, he instead appeared to continue focusing his attention on Hurricane Florence relief efforts in North Carolina. We don't know about you guys, but we think Conover came out on top in this situation.

Bitter much?

Ravenel should probably familiarize himself with the old adage, "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." Why, you ask? Look no further than Ravenel's mean comments about his former Southern Charm buddies.

In September 2018, Ravenel took to Twitter to release some apparent built-up frustrations from his days hanging with his former castmates. In one tweet, he criticized socialite Patricia Altschul's dinner parties, complaining that they were boring because Craig Conover and fellow cast member Cameran Eubanks couldn't keep up with his wit. "You have no idea how I wanted to leave Pat's dinner parties due to sheer boredom," Ravenel tweeted, as captured by Starcasm. "I found myself leaning toward monosyllabic discourse just so Cameron and Craig could keep up." Wow, Ravenel didn't even spell Eubanks' name right.

We think it's safe to say Ravenel is probably a bit bitter about his fall from grace. 

Southern Charmers to Ravenel: Good riddance!

If you're wondering whether the Southern Charm cast will miss Ravenel, the answer is probably no. "They're relieved not to have to deal with Thomas on the show anymore," an insider told People. "Thomas was a friend at first, but that changed over the years as layers and layers of his lies and manipulation were exposed. What he did to Kathryn was horrible, but the allegations from his nanny became the last straw."

But if Ravenel thought he might be able to weasel his way back into the cast's good graces via his on-again, off-again girlfriend Ashley Jacobs, well, he'd be wrong. "It would have to be a soliloquy since I don't know one cast member who would film with her," Patricia Altschul tweeted in response to a post about Jacobs' potential return to the show. Ouch. Sometimes the truth hurts, right?

Of course, we can't imagine Ravenel is too upset about his black sheep status given his dislike of the group.

Is he still with Ashley Jacobs?

When Thomas Ravenel and Ashley Jacobs supposedly called it quits in August 2018, many fans thought the two were done for good. But just when viewers thought the pair had moved on for real, several people spotted them out together just weeks after their breakup. Suspicious.

The tumultuous pair reportedly grabbed drinks at a bar on Aug. 31, 2018, and the next day they enjoyed a South Carolina college football game together, according to All About the Tea.

But wait — the fun didn't stop there. The friendly exes supposedly sat down for dinner at Halls Chophouse in Charleston. A source told People, "They looked like they were having a great time. If they are still split, you never would have known, but at the same time they weren't showing any PDA or anything. They looked friendly, like friends having a good time out together."

Things took an especially curious turn, however, when a mutual friend shared a cozy shot of the pair to Instagram. "Great to be with this couple on their special day! Congrats and best wishes!" a caption of the since-deleted photo read, according to All About The Tea

Unsurprisingly, the caption led many fans to believe the two had gotten engaged, a theory that later proved to be false. "The two couples were celebrating National Teddy Bear Day," a source clarified to the outlet. "Thomas and Ashley are not engaged."

National Teddy Bear Day? Alrighty then…

His father's curious political beliefs

Some fans might remember when Ravenel's dad made a curious comment about Abraham Lincoln during one of their lunch dates on Southern Charm. The eyebrow-raising incident occurred when Arthur pulled out a five-dollar bill from his wallet for their waitress' tip, expressing excitement that he was able to rid himself of another bill with Lincoln's face on it. Ravenel, clearly amused by his pop's aversion to the 16th president, responded with a smile, "You don't like Lincoln?" The two then enjoyed a strange laugh together.

Unsurprisingly, many people complained that the moment was racist (Lincoln abolished slavery, remember?). But despite Arthur's questionable views about good ol' Abe, his voting record during his time as a senator and congressman of South Carolina is surprisingly liberal. Want some proof? Arthur — a Republican — teamed up with Democrats to co-sponsor the Drug Rehabilitation and Recovery Program for Prisons Act, a measure to "establish a comprehensive drug treatment program in Federal prisons," and the Felon Handgun Purchase Prevention Act of 1991, legislation geared towards making firearms sales safer. Interesting.

Given Arthur's impressive career, it's fair to wonder how he feels about Ravenel's failed bid for Senate in 2014. Although one might think Arthur is disappointed in Ravenel, it's clear the two share a close bond regardless of politics.

His mom is a champion for people with special needs

Most fans already know that Ravenel's older brother William was born with Down syndrome. But what's not as well known is that Ravenel's mom, Louise Rodgers, worked tirelessly to ensure that people with special needs in Charleston, S.C. like William were treated equally and with respect. 

"She dedicated her life to helping the needs of the less fortunate, the handicapped," Ravenel said about his mom's advocacy, according to The State. "She's been a warrior on behalf of equal rights."

Ravenel wasn't lying when he sung Rodgers' praises. Rodgers founded the Protection & Advocacy For People With Disabilities, the "first S.C. organization to push for the rights of the disabled," according to The State.

The South Carolina General Assembly also recognized Rodgers' work, praising her efforts to ensure that women with mental health issues were "no longer written off as being unfit mothers without a discussion of the woman's rights" and her work to help pass both the Developmental Disabilities and Bill of Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Hats off to Rodgers for her activism. 

Reality TV runs in the family

Some fans might be surprised to learn that Ravenel is related to Below Deck alum Baker Manning. As it turns out, Ravenel's dad — Arthur — is married to her paternal grandmother. And if you don't want to draw up a family tree, that means Ravenel is Manning's step-uncle. 

Manning, however, isn't fond of the term "step."

"Arthur Ravenel is married to my grandmother, my dad's mom. They've been married since before I was born, so as far as I'm concerned he's full-on granddad," Manning explained during an episode of Quintin's Close-Ups. "I don't like the 'step' aspect of it. I've known them my whole life and growing up we would come to Charleston several times of year to visit. So I know all of them pretty well."

As for Manning's bond with Ravenel? The two are apparently quite close. 

"I've known Thomas ever since I was a little young buck — 5, 6 years old — and we always loved coming to Charleston and getting to hang with Uncle Thomas," Manning added. "As the youngest of his siblings, he was always [around]. It was a lot of fun for us cause he would actually take time and push us on the hammock and he was always willing to give us the time of the day whereas everyone else at these family functions were all mingling with each other."

Dumping his beloved fiancée led to his 'downfall'

Ravenel has never shied away from the fact that he has regrets about dumping his former fiancée Candace Yearwood. Ravenel ditched Yearwood one day before their wedding via cellphone (we can't believe it either) because of her job as a "beverage cart girl" — a career choice he supposedly found unsuitable for his highfalutin lifestyle. The dad-of-two later admitted during a Southern Charm reunion episode that Yearwood was "the one who got away," an admission that probably didn't sit too well with his then-girlfriend Kathryn Dennis.

But what fans likely don't know about Ravenel's tale is that he attributes the breakup to his "downfall," telling The State, "I called her on her cellphone. I didn't even have the balls to tell it to her face. I had some screwed up values. I really made a big mistake, and I paid for it. It kind of led to my downfall."

Is it bad that we don't feel too sorry for Ravenel? Breaking up with your fiancée with a phone call isn't a good look.

He's all about President Donald Trump

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Ravenel penned a Facebook post about why people should vote for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, as captured by the Charleston City Paper. Many people probably didn't catch the endorsement, however, because Ravenel deleted it shortly after he made the post public. 

Although Ravenel calls himself a Libertarian, his passionate statement about Trump might suggest he's more of a Republican than he'd like viewers to believe. "I can't vote in the Presidential race because of my conviction but you can," Ravenel said, referencing his federal cocaine distribution charges. "If you want to put back into The White House someone who looted it when she left and increased her net worth from $0 to $350 million by selling out our national security then vote for the great con artist Hillary. If you believe that our Country should be great and provide equality and opportunity to ALL its citizens then you must vote for Trump."

Ravenel also defended Trump in a May 2017 interview with Quintin's Close-Ups, arguing that Democrats are "obsessed with trying to bring him down." 

Hmm, maybe Ravenel should give fellow Trump supporter Kanye West a ring sometime.

He defended people brought down by the #MeToo movement

Thomas Ravenel is often his own worst enemy. Case in point: Less than a year before Ravenel was accused of sexual assault in May 2018 by two different women, he issued controversial statements about the #MeToo movement in an interview with Quintin's Close-Ups

Essentially, Ravenel argued that many who are accused of sexual assault or misconduct likely had "good intent," arguing, "There are a lot of things that people, they observe, you know … they're not naturally bad people but they see certain behaviors, maybe they learned it from their parents or from their friends, and they think, 'Okay, that's acceptable — that's funny,' and they may emulate that behavior, not realizing that's sexual assault." 

Oh boy.

Ravenel also went on to suggest women might want to extort him for money, adding, "I for one, you know, am not going to … you know, I've got a big target on my back, I'm a pretty well known guy, and people know that I have resources. I'm not going to put myself in a position where I can be, you know, extorted money by a bunch of trial lawyers."

Something tells us Ravenel probably regrets this interview.