Thomas Ravenel regrets threatening suit against Charleston, wanted police to do more

Thomas Ravenel suffered a black-eye after a man head-butted him at a bar last week.

Thomas Ravenel, star of Bravo’s “Southern Charm” reality show, said he regrets threatening to sue the city of Charleston after police wouldn’t re-arrest a man accused of head-butting him in a bar last week but said he wished they would have done more.

The 53-year-old former state treasurer said he was making a required public appearance at a “white party,” in which guests are required to wear white, on Labor Day at Republic Garden and Lounge when he was attacked by another man.

Ravenel contends he doesn’t know why the man, who has not been charged, attacked him and that the two never exchanged words other than to say “bye,” despite the Charleston police report indicating that they argued about a comment made to a woman.

Ravenel said once police were at the bar, he told them that he likely wouldn’t press charges but that he wanted the alleged assailant to sit in jail for the night to think about what he had done. He added that the man’s girlfriend had begged him not to press charges because he had previous charges that could affect his potential sentence.

The officers, he said, “seemed to be on board” to take the man to jail, and he was “trying to be a nice guy” by not pushing it further.

“If I should be vilified at all, it’s because I didn’t press charges,” Ravenel said, adding that it sounded like the man had anger problems before the incident.

Ravenel said he called police later that night when he found out they released the man and “said some things he shouldn’t have said” because he was angry and his face “was exploding.”

“My face was like a rhinoceros,” he said. “At that point I was just mad and I was starting to feel the sting.”

According to the police report, he threatened to bring a $10 million lawsuit against the city when an officer explained to him that the department’s procedures prohibited him from re-arresting the man. Ravenel ultimately hung up on the officer after telling him to “just forget it.”

Reach Melissa Boughton at 937-5594 or at