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Former nanny sues 'Southern Charm' star Thomas Ravenel, Bravo in sex assault case

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Thomas Ravenel (copy)

Thomas Ravenel appears in Bond Court Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, after he was jailed earlier in the day. His former nanny alleges that he sexually assaulted her three years ago in Charleston. Brad Nettles/Staff

Thomas Ravenel, the former South Carolina Treasurer and "Southern Charm" reality television personality, was named in a new lawsuit by the woman who said Ravenel sexually assaulted her when she worked as a nanny in his household nearly four years ago.

The suit, whose defendants include "Southern Charm" show backers (Bravo, Haymaker Content, NBC Universal and Comcast), seeks unspecified damages.

Ravenel is also charged with second-degree assault and battery in connection to the incident, a misdemeanor that carries up to three years in prison.

Ravenel, known as “T-Rav” to the show's fan base, was a regular cast member on the series, which premiered in 2014. "Southern Charm" is entering its sixth season and chronicles the lives of Lowcountry socialites.

Shortly after Ravenel's arrest in September, Bravo announced that it and Ravenel had cut ties.

"We learned about this lawsuit through media reports today," Cameron Blazer, Ravenel's attorney, said in an email. "If and when Mr. Ravenel is formally served, we will respond in the court and will vigorously defend him."

The woman who levied the assault allegation against Ravenel earlier this year told authorities she was assaulted by him in January 2015 after Ravenel came home intoxicated after a night out.

Court documents and the civil complaint, which was filed Dec. 7 in Charleston County, say that Ravenel made sexual advances toward the woman in his Charlotte Street home. After she rebuffed Ravenel, he forcibly removed some of her clothing and fondled her, causing injury, authorities said.

The Post and Courier generally does not identify victims of alleged sexual assault.

The lawsuit also contends the victim reported the alleged assault in December of that year to a network official, but that show-runners and producers did not investigate the claim until after the allegation was made public in May 2018.

Additionally, Ravenel made threats against the woman and her family members after the allegations were made, according to the suit.

"(Ravenel) has made threats toward ... others regarding (the victim), including that he would destroy the livelihoods of anyone that helps (her)," the suit said.

Ryan Andrews, an attorney representing the woman, said Ravenel "did everything he could to cover it up and deny it."

Last month, a judge ruled that the second-degree assault charge against Ravenel could proceed to trial.

Ravenel briefly served as state treasurer until he was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2007 on cocaine possession charges. He served 10 months in federal prison.

Representatives from Bravo did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Reach Michael Majchrowicz at 843-937-5591. Follow him on Twitter @mjmajchrowicz.

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