Dawn Ledwell

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Dawn Ledwell and her daughter, Adara [1]

Dawn Ledwell is a baby nurse ​​ residing outside Charlotte, North Carolina ​. She was previously a nanny for Southern Charm ​ stars Thomas Ravenel ​ and Kathryn Dennis in Charleston, South Carolina ​. In May 2018 Dawn accused Thomas Ravenel of forcibly raping her in interviews with The Daily Mail ​ and FITSNews. She also reported the allegations to the City of Charleston Police Department ​. [1] ​​ [4]

Personal Life

Dawn Ledwell has a husband, Stan who works as a landscaper ​. The couple were once separated but later reconciled. Ledwell has a 17-year-old daughter named Adara. [1]

Education

Dawn Ledwell is studying in a master's degree ​ program as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner ​ specializing in mood disorders ​. [4]

Southern Charm

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Dawn pictured with Thomas Ravenel ​ and his daughter Kensie [1]

In 2014, Dawn Ledwell began working for Thomas Ravenel ​ and Kathryn Dennis when their daughter Kensington 'Kensie' was about six weeks old after friends recommended her for the position of private baby nurse. At the time Ravenel and Dennis were both stars on Bravo's Southern Charm reality television ​ show. [1]

Dawn recalled that from the very start working for the couple was"'stressful." [1]

"He was running for Senate ​ at the time, obviously he's older and had a baby with a young lady who was barely 22. They just weren't ready for that kind of step," she said. [1]

The couple split for the first time in October 2014 and Dennis moved out of their rented carriage house in Charleston.

"All the drama did affect me personally," Dawn admitted. "I would bring it home with me. He was always criticizing Kathryn for her 'ineffective coping''. [1]

Dennis has since gone through drug rehabilitation ​ for alcohol and drug abuse and is now sober. But according to Dawn, Ravenel also "had some things he needed to work on - in particular the alcohol". [1]

"I felt that both parents needed some help and there's no shame in that," she said. "But he would sometimes personally attack me for not taking his side [in everything]." [1]

When Kensie was just seven months old, Ravenel was accused of assaulting ​ Dennis' hairdresser ​ and stylist, Lauren Moser, in a drunken rage. The charges were ultimately dropped but during the altercation, caught on video, he drunkenly slipped and stumbled into the swimming pool ​ with Kensie in his arms. [1]

Incidents like that, Dawn said, convinced her to stay on in the less-than-ideal work environment. "I felt, and still feel, that I wanted to be an advocate for the children," she said. [1]

Rape Allegations against Thomas Ravenel

In January 2015 Thomas Ravenel allegedly forcibly raped Dawn Ledwell while she worked in his home. She reported the incident to the City of Charleston Police Department ​ on Monday, May 7, 2018. A police report from Charleston police states that Thomas Ravenel is under investigation for forcible rape in the first degree. [1]

This is the second accusation of sexual violence against Thomas Ravenel. In April 2018 Florida ​ based model / realtor ​ Ashley Perkins claimed that Thomas Ravenel paid her mother Debbie, whom he met on a Tinder date, $200,000 on condition that she sign an NDA concerning an alleged sexual assault ​ in December 2015. [2]

On the night Dawn claims Thomas Ravenel raped her, he had called her to babysit Kensie in his Charleston home while he went out to dinner with friends. [1]

"He turned out the lights when he came in which basically shut off all the lights on that floor," she said. 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. 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. I said, Why don't you go and lie down? I really needed to get home, it was about a 45 minute drive from there then and I needed to get home for my own kids." [1]

Dawn continued, "I needed to go upstairs to get my jacket and it had the keys to my truck in it." She said, 'I don't really want to go into all the details of what happened. It was very traumatic for me. [1]

"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?' Eventually Dawn was able to get her jacket, her keys and get out. [1]

But she said, 'There are just no words for what I felt at that time." Dawn said that she called her daughter, Adara, one of her sisters, and her husband as she drove home. She said she told each of them what had happened. [1]

According to Dawn, Thomas 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. [1]

It was around one in the morning when Dawn finally got home and her daughter Adara remembers her mother's clear distress. She took pictures of the marks on her mother's body. A tearful Adara said, "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." [1]

"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. 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." [1]

Dawn has said she is well aware that the fact that she did not report the incident straight away but continued to work for Ravenel and Dennis for more than a year after that night will be used by some to discredit her story. [1]

Dawn explained that she did not report the rape because she was conflicted, ashamed and fearful. Dawn also said why she was afraid of Thomas Ravenel: "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. Also being a participant on a reality TV show where they have the ability to use your personal life as a platform, I didn't want my grieving and my trauma to be used as a platform for their show. I was worried about being re-victimized." [1]

When asked if she told anyone with Haymaker, the production company ​ about the assault, Dawn said only that she could not discuss that for legal reasons. [1]

She doesn't remember exactly when she next saw Ravenel, only that when she did he "voluntarily" apologized to her for attacking her. She said, "He saw that maybe I was afraid of him because I was bringing people to work with me and he said, Listen you don't need to bring chaperones ​. I'm really sorry for attacking you. I feel really bad about it and it will never happen again." [1]

Dawn said "And it's true. He didn't ever do it again." [1]

"But what had really hurt me was that when I was finally able to tell Kathryn he recanted. He denied what he did and what he said and he victim shamed and bullied me. " [1]

Dawn claims that after the birth of Saint in November 2015 it became apparent to Dennis that something was wrong. She said, "I was crying a lot and having headaches and I was staying with her at her home to help her and she just did not understand. She was like, "Why are you so upset?" [1]

"And it was like a team of horses that had to drag it out of me because you always wonder, how will she respond? Again, is this going to be exploited and used on a television show? But I told her exactly what happened and she was really shocked. She really hated it for me. I think she really believed me." [1]

But when confronted by the mother of his children Ravenel denied it all, Dawn said. [1]

"I know exactly what he said because he butt dialed me when he was talking to various people about me. I'm overhearing him saying, Oh I would never be with her. She was fat and disgusting. She's pathetic. He said that I wasn't a good nanny and couldn't get a job as a real nurse and that I was involved in some sort of money grab scheme like nannies out in LA who come up with false allegations against rich white men to blackmail them or cash in." [1]

"And I was so hurt. I will say that that hurt me worse than any physical or sexual assault he could ever do to me." [1]

According to Dawn, following Saint's birth, Ravenel employed a second nanny and reduced her hours to the point where the already erratic role was unsustainable. [1]

She said, "All this bullying was going on, the stress was so unbelievable. At one point I ended up having to go to the emergency room ​ with chest pains and they did an MRI ​ and all these different things to make sure I wasn't having a heart attack ​." [1]

"I [finally] said there's no way I can continue to work in this hostile environment ​. And so I ended up having to resign. I know people will say, 'Why didn't you walk away sooner?' but first of all my focus was on the children and you can see how beautiful Kensie and Saint are. [1]

'The second thing is when you're working for someone who's in the public eye and has the capacity to ruin you, you're afraid. I beat myself up over it for a long time. I really did." [1]

Dawn 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. [1]

She said she didn't want to lose her voice as an advocate for the children. The notion that she is somehow out for money is one that clearly enrages Dawn today. [1]

She said, "His fortune will never make me fortunate. I do no need his money to fulfill my life. What I do need is justice. I need healing. I need help and support." [1]

When asked if she wants Ravenel to go to prison ​ Dawn was unsure. She is angry, she said, but she is still beset by a wealth of conflicting emotions. She explained, "I remember all the good times like being out on the boat with the baby and stuff like that and I remember the times when he would be on his best behavior and it's very difficult because on the flip side there's the rage and the alcohol use and the victimization of women." [1]

'I'll be honest with you that's where I need more help. I need to go to therapy and figure all that out." However, Dawn has clearly said Ravenel should no longer be part of the Southern Charm cast. [1]

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