Dawn Ledwell, known to fans of the Bravo reality show as ‘Nanny Dawn,’ is the second woman to come forward and accuse Southern Charm star Thomas Ravenel of sexual assault.
Ledwell, a psychiatric nurse living just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, claimed that Ravenel strangled her, ripped her clothes off and violently raped her while his infant child slept in the next room.
Ravenel also allegedly raped and assaulted another woman in his Charleston home in January 2015. Charleston Police announced in May of this year that they were investigating allegations of sexual assault against Ravenel.
Here’s what you need to know:
Ledwell Filed a Report With The Charleston Police Department After News Broke of the Alleged Assault of the First Victim
Ledwell told the DailyMail that she was outraged after she saw a tweet from a girl accusing Ravenel of sexually assaulting her mother. Florida model/realtor Ashley Perkins claimed that Ravenel paid her mother Debbie, whom he met on a Tinder date, $200,000 on condition that she sign an NDA concerning the alleged assault in December 2015.
“I was outraged because I found out then that I was not an isolated incident,” Ledwell told the DailyMail. “I had blamed myself, like many victims do, [but I realized then] that it wasn’t my fault. It was his fault. He’s the perpetrator.”
Ledwell, 43, claims that she first met Ravenel and his then-partner Kathryn Dennis when their daughter Kensington was about six weeks old. Friends recommended her for the position of private baby nurse, and she started working for Ravenel.
On the night Dawn claims Ravenel raped her, he had called her to babysit his daughter in his Charleston home while he went out to dinner with friends. Dawn had put Kensington down and was sterilizing baby bottles when Ravenel returned home, according to the DailyMail.
“He turned out the lights when he came in which basically shut off all the lights on that floor,” she told the DailyMail. “I asked him to turn the lights back on because I couldn’t see what I was doing. He did not. And without hesitation, he came up to me and made advances, tried to kiss me.”
“I turned my head because I didn’t want him to do that,” she continued. “He tried to hug me and my hands were full, I had the baby bottles, so I couldn’t push him away but I told him, ‘no.'”
She told the DailyMail that she had to go upstairs and get her jacket, which had the keys to her truck in the pocket. She then “falters” while telling the story to the DailyMail, stating that it was hard to go into detail about the incident because it was so traumatic for her.
“I felt so humiliated especially when he was ripping my clothes off, you know I was a bigger girl back then – almost 100 pounds bigger – and he’s torn my clothes off and I’m just so mortified thinking am I going to run outside in this very upscale neighborhood in the freezing January without my clothes on?”
After The Alleged Rape, Ledwell Called Her Daughter, Husband and Sister, Who Took Pictures of Ledwell’s Injuries From the Assault
Ledwell told the DailyMail that, as she was driving home from Ravenel’s, she called her daughter Adara, as well as one of her sisters and her husband. She told each of them what had happened.
According to Ledwell, Ravenel “strangled her with her own T-shirt as she tried to escape his clutches.” She said she was left scratched and with marks on her arms, back, throat and between her legs. Adara, Ledwell’s daughter, took pictures of the marks on her mother’s body when she returned home.
Adara tearfully told the DailyMail, “I heard her come in and go to her room and I went in there to check on her and she told me that Thomas had attacked her and she basically explained what happened – how he made advances on her, trying to kiss her and how he grabbed her. She showed me where he had left scratches and marks around her neck and in between her thighs and her back.”
“I was very young at the time and it was just horrible seeing my mother like that,” she said. “I remember just trying to support her with whatever choice she made whether she wanted to go to the police about it or try to work it out with him.”
Ledwell did not go to police however, and continued to work for Ravenel and Dennis for another year. She told the DailyMail that she is aware that these details will most likely be used to discredit her story.
Ledwell claims she was afraid of Ravenel, which stopped her from pressing charges. She explained: “I knew his tactics and what he does to bully other people. He might hire private investigators to follow people and put GPS trackers on their cars and do that to family members. I was afraid of all that.”
Ledwell Claims Ravenel Apologized to Her For the Assault & Promised it Would Never Happen Again, But Then Recanted His Statement After She Told His Partner
Ledwell told the DailyMail that, after the attack, she started bringing people with her to work because she feared he would assault her again. He apparently noticed, and apologized to Ledwell for the incident, saying “I’m really sorry for attacking you. I feel really bad about it and it will never happen again.”
Ledwell said that it never did happen again, although when she finally mustered up the courage to tell his partner Kathryn Dennis, Ravenel immediately denied what he did and said and allegedly “victim shamed and bullied” Ledwell.
Ledwell eventually quit in December 2016. She said that she received a “minimal severance pay but that she refused to sign an NDA as requested by Ravenel.” She is gathering what evidence she can in the form of emails, text messages, phone records and pictures to give to the police, according to the DailyMail.
Ravenel denies the accusations, and a source close to Ravenel claims he “doesn’t understand why Dawn would say these things. To bring a claim of forcible rape – I don’t think she could have picked a worse charge to level at any person. There aren’t words to express what he’s going through right now.”
Ravenel, a “disgraced former public official,” was state treasurer of South Carolina until 2007 when he resigned amid federal cocaine distribution charges, according to Turn to 10. Ravenel was sentenced to 10 months in prison for the crime.
Ravenel said in August 2018 he was quitting “Southern Charm” amid the rape and other allegations, saying he had “too much to lose,” according to ABC.
This is a developing story. Heavy will continue to update as more information is known.