When Kathryn Dennis first stepped onto the Bravo scene à la Southern Charm in 2014, she was only 22 years old and arguably sheltered. Dennis, the direct descendent of former U.S. Vice President John C. Calhoun, grew up in Moncks Corner, S.C., an area with a reported population of less than 15,000 people. It’s fair to reason Dennis was thrilled about spending more time in the bustling city of Charleston while filming a popular reality show, but perhaps the changes were too much to handle, as evidenced by her numerous personal problems and dramatic relationship with former co-star and controversial South Carolina big shot Thomas Ravenel. Before viewers eyes, Dennis transformed from a bright-eyed young woman to a vilified reality star with alleged addiction issues. This characterization worsened when Dennis lost custody of her two children, Saint and Kensington, to Dennis in 2017.
Of course, Dennis’ story isn’t so cut and dry, and we’ll be the first to admit the reality star hasn’t always received a fair shake, especially since Ravenel has been accused of spreading lies about her ability as a parent. Not to mention, Dennis has since regained 50/50 custody of her kids and reportedly regained the trust of some of her co-stars. What exactly are we getting at here? The truth about Kathryn Dennis deserves a closer reexamination, so put on your investigative hat as we inch closer to what’s really going on with the Southern Charm star.
The real reason why Kathryn Dennis filed for custody
Many fans were shocked when Kathryn Dennis shared a co-parenting pic with Thomas Ravenel and their daughter, Kensie, on Instagram in June 2018. “What matters most? My daughter’s happiness,” she captioned the sweet pic. “Good job she looks so happy mom and dad,” one person commented. Another chimed in, “I think they are doing great co parenting.” Those warm and fuzzy feelings didn’t last long, however.
Everything between these two changed when Dennis filed for primary custody of Kensie and Saint in October 2018. That legal move may have something to do with Ravenel’s September 2018 arrest. He was charged with battery and assault against the children’s former nanny — allegations that stemmed from a January 2015 incident. We’ll spare you the graphic details, but let’s just say the nanny’s accusations don’t paint a pretty picture of Ravenel and likely prompted questions about his ability to parent his kids.
Kathryn Dennis' dirty laundry was aired out in court documents
It’s never fun to have your dirty laundry aired out in public, a sentiment Kathryn Dennis probably knows all too well. In June 2019, the judge presiding over her custody battle with ex-boyfriend Thomas Ravenel decided to unseal court docs related to the matter. Although the judge had previously agreed to keep the documents sealed, he reportedly changed his mind after Dennis discussed Ravenel on Season 6 of Southern Charm.
According to The Blast, the judge said Dennis “remains dedicated to discussing the custody case in the media; discussing the father of her children, and her very private life.” As a result, “sealing the record serves no legitimate purpose, nor does it protect the children — who are routinely exposed to the public and media.” He also accused Dennis of not being concerned about her children’s interest, stating: “It is clear to the Court that … [Dennis] has no interest in protecting the privacy of her children, based upon her frequent communications with the entertainment media.” Ouch!
Of course, this is a tough situation considering it’s Dennis’ job to share her life on TV, so this may have been a lose-lose situation.
Did Kathryn Dennis conspire with her ex's accuser?
Thomas Ravenel has lobbed a ton of accusations against Kathryn Dennis over the years, including a claim that she conspired with the woman who accused him of sexual assault and battery. Essentially, Ravenel believes Dennis and his accuser — their children’s former nanny, Dawn — were in cahoots to take him down.
“On Sunday, May 6, 2018, I requested that Kathryn submit to a drug test in anticipation of our coming mediation to discuss changes in her visitation and child support,” Ravenel said in court docs obtained by The Blast. “I needed to know she was drug free to offer her more time. The very next day …. The day I ‘made’ Kathryn submit to a drug test Dawn went to the police and filed a criminal complaint against me.” Ravenel also believes Dennis has a long history with Dawn, stating: “The more information uncovered about Kathryn’s activities, the more Kathryn was found to be connected to Dawn.”
At this point, it’s up to the court to verify Ravenel’s claims.
Thomas Ravenel accused Kathryn Dennis of being a sex addict
When the judge presiding over Kathryn Dennis and Thomas Ravenel’s custody battle unsealed court docs related to the case, many disturbing allegations came to light. One example? Ravenel accused Dennis of being a sex addict, stating in court docs obtained by the Daily Mail that she suffers from “hyper sexuality.” He also alleged she “hooked up with one of his “polo players” on a weekend they spent together with their daughter, Kensie. Additionally, he accused her of sleeping with a guy named “Pedro” while she was “11 weeks 3 days pregnant.” Dennis’ lawyer denied the claims, stating that the allegations are untrue and that Ravenel’s accusations will be “discredited” in court.
We don’t want to pass any judgment on these allegations, so let’s just move along, shall we?
Thomas Ravenel claims Kathryn Dennis isn't sober
It’s no secret Kathryn Dennis has struggled with addiction issues and sought treatment in rehab. Although Dennis has led fans to believe she’s adopted a sober lifestyle, Thomas Ravenel claims it’s all smoke and mirrors. In unsealed court docs obtained by the Daily Mail, he accused Dennis of drinking after she checked out of the California-based treatment facility. “Kathryn’s credit [card] and bank records show that immediately upon her return from rehab in July 2016, Kathryn began drinking again,” he alleged, while also claiming his ex struggles with marijuana and Adderall abuse. Another one of Dennis’ former flames, Ashley Pillar, reportedly backed up Ravenel’s claims, stating: “I saw Kathryn self-medicate on uppers and downers depending on her mood every day … Kathryn was regularly on a cocktail of the two.”
Needless to say, a lot can change in the span of a few years, and Dennis has demonstrated sobriety on-camera, refusing to take part in a “marijuana dinner” during a Season 6 cast trip to Colorado. “Weed was the reason that I lost my children for a little while,” a frustrated Dennis says on the show. “This is the first time I’ve been around it since I got back from rehab and no one is even acknowledging it.” Time will tell what the court has to say about it.
Kathryn Dennis had to curb her lavish spending habits
Southern Charm Season 6 kicked off with the show’s co-stars expressing concern about Kathryn Dennis’ spending habits. Not only did Dennis reportedly lease a Bentley (a luxury vehicle that can cost more than $200,000), but she also supposedly rented a five-story townhouse in the heart of Charleston for $6,600 a month. Although the mom-of-two makes a nice chunk of change starring on Southern Charm, these expenses may put a big dent in her estimated net worth.
Dennis eventually admitted that her concerned friends had a point. “I was making irrational, irresponsible decisions regarding money, etc.,” she told The Daily Dish podcast.”However, I caught myself soon enough.” Dennis’ missteps reportedly prompted her to reexamine her finances. “The custody case is costing me a lot financially, so I’m having to adult officially in every way,” she told People. “I’m now meeting with an accountant. I’m working towards building my credit. I’m just trying to be more responsible on the whole with my finances.” You go, mama.
You'll never believe who Thomas Ravenel hired to investigate his ex
Arguably one of the most wild details about Kathryn Dennis and Thomas Ravenel’s court battle involves a private investigator. According to unsealed court docs obtained by the The Blast, Ravenel “hired a South Carolina company named Surveillance Technologies to watch Dennis” from Sept. 9, 2018 through June, 17, 2019. The company reportedly carried out an “investigation” to “observe the activities of Kathryn Calhoun Dennis” at her residence, the court docs outlined.
As if being tailed by a private eye wasn’t bizarre enough, Dennis’ cousin — David C. Leaird — is the owner of Surveillance Technologies. That’s right, The Southern Charm star’s cousin was reportedly paid to “watch her interactions with the kids” and to record “Dennis twenty four hours a day,” according to The Blast.
But wait — that’s not all! Leaird’s wife, Candace Leaird, was once engaged to Ravenel, thus complicating this tangled web even more. Talk about a major mess, right?
The Southern Charm cast loves Kathryn Dennis' new man
After a series of failed relationships, including an explosive split from former co-star Thomas Ravenel, Kathryn Dennis found love with an aspiring country music star named Hunter Price. You might know Price from Season 13 of America’s Got Talent, where judge Simon Cowell called him a “good songwriter.” Despite Price’s glowing resume and seemingly spotless background, Dennis’ ex, Thomas Ravenel, took issue with the romance. “I wouldn’t have such a problem with Hunter living with Kathryn if I felt that Kathryn was capable of being in a healthy, long-term relationship,” Ravenel said in unsealed court docs, according to the Daily Mail.
Ravenel’s opinion conflicts with assessments of Dennis’ Southern Charm co-stars. “I love Hunter. He’s a great dude. Yeah, we’re big fans,” Craig Conover told Us Weekly. “He’s like a sweetheart guy. He’s very nice and she’s really happy around him. And he’s sober, so it’s a good influence.” Cameran Eubanks echoed this sentiment, telling The Daily Dish: “Hunter, he’s great. He is super nice. He’s down to Earth. He’s a good old Southern boy. He really seems to love and respect her … I really like him.”
Why Joseph Abruzzo lost the vote in the boyfriend department
Before Kathryn Dennis found love with singer Hunter Price in January 2019, she dated former Florida politician Joseph Abruzzo. It’s safe to say Abruzzo was a curious choice, given his very explosive divorce from his wife, Brandy Abruzzo, and the controversy behind his decision not to seek re-election in 2018. But Dennis ignored these red flags for a while, allegedly damaging her friendship with co-star Danni Baird as a result.
Dennis eventually admitted that her friend’s disapproval of Abruzzo prompted her to call it quits. “Whenever I noticed Danni [Baird] being upset with me because she didn’t agree with the way he talked to me or things he did, that’s when I started to think, hm, if my friends are turning on me, I do not need this man in my life,” she told The Daily Dish. Girls are more important than any kind of dude.” Amen, sister.
Why Dennis' mom moved in with her
Kathryn Dennis’ beloved mother, Allison Calhoun Dennis, passed away at age 59 in August 2019. The death was understandably devastating for Kathryn, who was very close to her mother and relied on her for emotional support. “My mom’s my best friend,” she told People in April 2019. “She stuck by me through so much. I don’t know what I would do without her.”
Some fans might not know this, but Allison was suffering from a long-term illness before her death and was living with Kathryn. “She was sick for a year and a half and I was taking care of her,” the reality star told People. “…It’s great to have her around, especially because she’s so good with the kids. She’s amazing. She’s the best mom I could ever hope for with everything.”
Dennis’ situation is heartbreaking, and our thoughts are with her and her kids during this difficult time.
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