A woman who has accused Thomas Ravenel of sexual assault says she is seeking justice not only for her but for victims everywhere.
Earlier this week, the 56-year-old former Bravo star, former treasurer of South Carolina and a former candidate for the U.S. Senate was arrested on charges of alleged assault and battery in the second degree over an alleged unwanted sexual encounter with the woman in 2015, when she worked as his daughter Kensie's nanny in Charleston, South Carolina. He was released from custody after a few hours. Ravenel has denied any wrongdoing.
"This is not just about me. I'm a selfless person. This is about a lot of different women in this maybe a start, If you can take down somebody who has this kind of notoriety and has fame, has fortune, maybe it'll give a little bit of faith to somebody else that there will be justice for them too," the former nanny, who was dubbed "Nanny Dawn" on Southern Charm, said on the Pink Shade With Erin Martin podcast on Thursday.
She had said on a May episode of the podcast that in early 2015, Ravenel attempted to kiss her in the kitchen in his house, despite her resistance, then later corralled her into his bedroom. According to an affidavit filed on Monday, the investigating officer testified that Ravenel undressed himself, started removing the woman's clothes, made sexual comments and touched her inappropriately.
"Nanny Dawn" said on Thursday's podcast that Ravenel forced his hand between her legs. She said that she will repeat this in any future testimony she may give for the case. No hearing date has been set.
"There are misconceptions and people were going wild with it so that they can say, 'Oh gosh, this guy, all he did was maybe do some heavy petting on her or grope her,'" "Nanny Dawn" said. "No. This guy did not grope me. He raped me, OK?"
"Nanny Dawn" said Ravenel later apologized for the incident.
"What disappoints me the most is that somebody that I knew and trusted in the beginning will not take responsibility for something he knew he did," she said. "I mean, he apologized to me for attacking me but he will not take public responsibility for this and it's so important because he does have a daughter. Would he want that for his child?"
She added, "There's a common myth that women create false allegations, or sexual allegations, against wealthy men to capitalize or be opportunist, to be wealthy. I don't care about being wealthy. What makes me fortunate is the family that I have...and also the families that I've had the opportunity to be invited into, which would be with Kensie and [her little brother] Saint."
"All these excuses that people give and enable these perpetrators, it's B.S., I could care less about monetary things," she said. "All I care about is people and the people that are important to me. And I guess I could say that there are people I don't even know that I can include into that, and that's survivors or people who are trying to survive, who need me as an advocate, and I will not stop advocating. I will not stop advocating for myself or for them."
In April, Ravenel was accused of sexual assault by another woman. Her daughter said the following month that the alleged incident happened during a Tinder date and that her mother and the reality star reached a $200,000 settlement over the matter two years ago. Ravenel's attorney, Richard P. Terbrusch, told E! News in a statement at the time, "My client enjoys a certain degree of fame and unfortunately has become—unfairly—a target for an individual who has, in my opinion, dubious motivations."
"Nanny Dawn" had come forward with her allegations against the reality star and filed a report with Charleston police in May after hearing about the former woman's allegations.
"We are aware of the City of Charleston's ongoing investigation of the allegations made by Dawn Ledwell," Terbrusch told E! News earlier this week. "Rather than engage in a media tit-for-tat, we have offered our cooperation in the investigation and are confident that when the truth comes out Thomas will be vindicated."
After the first woman's claims came to light, Bravo said in a statement that the cable network takes the allegations "very seriously" and that they were waiting for the investigation by the show's production company to be completed before making a final decision regarding Ravenel. He ended up skipping the Southern Charm reunion taping in June and the following month, he announced his exit from the Bravo series after five seasons.