Southern Charm star Patricia Altschul has been ordered to appear in court so she can try to work things out with her former friend and co-star K. Cooper Ray. The 78-year-old Southern Charm matriarch sued Ray earlier this year because she believes he has been defaming her, and the judge in the case wants her and Ray to try and mediate the issues in her lawsuit so they can avoid a trial.
According to The Blast, Altschul and Cooper were close friends for years, and they even filmed multiple scenes together during the early seasons of Southern Charm. But, after he accused her of getting him kicked off the show, the two had a falling out.
In her lawsuit, Altschul claims that Cooper has been “attacking and maligning” her all over Charleston, South Carolina with various comments in the press and on social media, and she says that Ray’s verbal abuse and defamation is harming her reputation.
Ray has called Altschul a “cheater and liar,” and he has also claimed that Altschul has a substance abuse problem and he says she didn’t write her cookbook. But, it’s not just his words that Altschul has a problem with. She says that Ray has also used her likeness without her permission to promote his business ventures, which include various Southern Charm-inspired tours of Charleston.
“Defendant continues to use Ms. Altschul’s likeness and identity to promote Defendant’s business ventures against Ms. Altschul’s wishes. Defendant offers tours of Charleston under various names, consistently using video clips, images, and text to imply Ms. Altschul’s endorsement of Defendant and his services,” reads Altschul’s court filing. “Ms. Altschul is an influential and highly recognizable individual in Charleston and has expressly prohibited Defendant from using her image and likeness to promote Defendant’s tour.”
The suit goes on to allege that Ray’s defamation and “wrongful appropriation” of Altschul’s personality has caused Whitney Sudler-Smith’s mom mental and emotional distress, damage to her reputation, and consequential damages.
Ray has denied all of Altschul’s allegations. He says that his tweets are his opinion and not defamation, and he is asking the court to toss the lawsuit.
New episodes of Southern Charm will most likely return to Bravo in 2020.