Patricia Altschul has filed a lawsuit against K. Cooper Ray accusing him of libel and slander. Tamara Tattles has heard for several months about the ongoing feud between K. Cooper Ray and Patricia Altschul. Basically, K. Cooper Ray and Patricia Altschul had a falling just after his last season on the show. My understanding of the situation based on watching them bicker on social media is that K. Cooper Ray feels that Patricia used her influence with Haymaker Productions to keep him off the show. Patricia’s son, Whitney Sudler-Smith is an executive producer of Southern Charm. It’s certainly not beyond the realm of rational thought that was the case.
There are a few other factors as well. Patricia Altschul is now quite fond of Kathryn Dennis. She left the Thomas Ravenel camp after all sorts of things were brought to her attention about how Thomas Ravenel treated Kathryn Dennis. Particularly with regard seeing her children and the random drug testing at his discretion.
At that same time, K. Cooper Ray went from Camp Kathryn to Team Thomas. This was based on K. Cooper Ray’s personal relationship with Kathryn when she was still using addictive substances. He talked about that time here along with another former friend of Kathryn’s Shelby Dennis.
It appeared to this outsider looking in, that once Kathryn Dennis got a grip on her life and continued to blossom into a loving mother and responsible adult, some of the people who supported her in the dark times were left behind. On the other hand, those who treated her horribly were quickly forgiven. So suffice it to say K. Cooper Ray and Patricia Atlschul do not like each other.
My Personal Bias
At this point I should point out my own feelings and/or relationship with both the plaintiff and the defendant in this case. I’ve never been overly fond of Patricia Altschul. I do not find her to be a genuine person. My position on her has mellowed recently due to some mutual acquaintances that speak highly of Patricia based on their personal knowledge. My opinions of Patricia were based solely on her public persona. For those reasons, I have adopted a more neutral opinion on Patricia.
Conversely, I’ve always thought very highly of K. Cooper Ray. We have a personal relationship. However, he has become a very vocal supporter of Thomas Ravenel. In that role,he has said despicable things about the women who have made serious allegations against Thomas Ravenel. As a sexual assault and abuse survivor, I’ve had difficultly maintaining a friendship with someone who would speak such unconscionable things. It is my hope that when evidence is presented in court he might rethink his allegiances. So likewise, my opinion of K. Cooper Ray is also at a more neutral position.
Vexatious Litigation, A Lesson For Ms. Altshul
Somewhere a law professor will use this case to illustrate textbook vexatious litigation. This sort of lawsuit is the reason the South Carolina Frivolous Civil Proceedings Sanctions Act exists. Vexatious litigation is a type of frivolous lawsuit that is filed with the sole intention to harass or injure the other party.
So let’s look at the court filing. On Monday, April 8th, an attorney filed suit on behalf of Altschul for slander/libel. The filing lists four separate causes of action, so let’s look at them one at a time.
Infliction of Emotional Distress
I literally laughed out loud when I read that Atlschul is claiming,”Mental and emotional stress that is so severe no reasonable person could be expected to endure it.” That’s a pretty high bar Daniel R. Dalton, attorney for the plaintiff, has set. What on earth has K. Cooper Ray done? Is he waterboarding her? Playing loud music she can’t escape until she cracks admits she is colluding with the Russians? Do tell.
Better yet, how is this emotional distress manifesting in Mrs. Altschul? Has she sought psychiatric treatment for her deteriorating mental health? Has she been institutionalized since she has passed the point that “no reasonable person can endure?” Have men in white come to take her to a sanitarium?
According to this action, K. Cooper Ray’s conduct is so extreme and outrageous it exceeds all reasonable bounds of decency and should be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable.
MY GOD! WHAT HAS HE DONE!? WHAT HAS HE DONE????!!??!?!?
Well, Altschul is claiming that K. Cooper Ray called Altschul, a cheater and a liar, said she has substance abuse issues and claims she didn’t author her own book.
This is almost as good as Congressman Devin Nunes suing a parody account on Twitter called Devin Nunes’ Cow for a quarter of a million dollars!
But let’s not be hasty. Counselor Dalton has referred us to social media postings in Exhibit A. Let’s take a look at these posts that have cause Patricia Altschul to suffer beyond what any reasonable person can endure. Shall we?
First of all, these all seem to be comments on website posts or comments on IG. This one is hard to read but it is about a time when K. Cooper Ray was on a public sidewalk reporting on the comings and goings from Altschul’s house while production was filming the first scene of a season of Southern Charm. That is literally all he says. I have no idea what the two random Internet comments has to do with anything. One says his recent snapchat was creepy. This is “Mental and emotional stress that is so severe no reasonable person could be expected to endure it.” #VexatiousLitigation
Someone said some nasty things about Coop on the Internet. How is this “Mental and emotional stress that is so severe no reasonable person could be expected to endure it.” How on earth is this random nasty comment about Cooper remotely related to Patricia??? Where did she find this attorney?
Here Cooper says he ran into Patricia at a charity even, and was polite and respectful. In HIS OPINION she was too drunk to know who he was. How is this “Mental and emotional stress that is so severe no reasonable person could be expected to endure it.”
I feel like I am in some sort of Legal Twilight Zone. It appears that KCR is talking about Patricia but I admit at first I thought he was talking about Kathryn. It’s hard to say. No names are mentioned. However, let’s go with the idea it’s about Patricia. If true he refers to her as Dat Ho, a goldigger, and “a piece.” Again, HOW THE FUCK is this “Mental and emotional stress that is so severe no reasonable person could be expected to endure it.” Also, if it is going to be held up as defamation in court, can she please prove she is not Dat Ho, a piece, or especially a gold digger or that a reasonable person would know these things not to be true. Side Note: Isn’t Dat Ho a comedian?
And finally, he definitely calls her a vile creature. That’s not very nice. But it appears to be HIS OPINION! Then he offers to tell her what is legal. She probably should have taken notice of that.
This is Attorney Dalton’s evidence of libel and defamation. Or as we call it, a day of pleasantries on the Internet. THIS IS HIS LEAD STORY! #VexatiousLitigation
Action 2 Libel and Slander
Okay, surely this action will list how his client was libeled and slandered. Nope. It just says, See Attached.
And it mentions accusing Patricia of “lying, cheating, inappropriate intoxication,” and not being the author of her book. Where are the examples of him accusing her of lying and cheating? I feel like she has lied about a lot of things on camera on national television. I’m not sure what she would be cheating on. Taxes? Boyfriends? Her diet? College Entrance Exams? What? And if the alleged intoxication at the Fireman’s Ball is considered “inappropriate” I don’t want to be appropriate. Who said her alleged intoxication was “inappropriate”?
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As for her book. Only an idiot would think that Patricia wrote the books she has published. Isn’t the ghostwriter listed right there on the cover? None of these reality people write their own books. Well, K. Cooper Ray did. Maybe that is what is causing her “Mental and emotional stress that is so severe no reasonable person could be expected to endure it.“???
Action 3 Misappropriation of Likeness That Appears to Endorse His Business
Well, this should have been your lead story, Mr. Dalton. But where are you exhibits for this part of the filing? If he is promoting the site with Patricia’s name and likeness there should be screenshots, or flyers or some sort of advertising included in your pleading. You have evidence of this, right? Where is it? And if he is using images from Southern Charm, she doesn’t own the rights to those images. Also, she likely signed off her right to sue other castmates and the production company and NBCu for defamation. These things seem problematic.
And let’s say he is standing on the street corner or going on IG live saying COME TO MY SOUTHERN CHARM TOUR, Y’ALL! PATRICIA ALTSCHUL THINKS IT’S THE BEST TOUR IN THE WORLD! And he holds up Poster board with her photo and a caption with I LOVE K. COOPER RAY’S BIKE TOURS! What exactly are Patricia’s damages? How do you plan to prove any of this?
Do you understand the threshold for actual malice?
The statement must be injurious. The whole point of defamation suits are to right an injury to reputation. How are K. Cooper Ray’s little tours injurious to Patricia? Did she lose work? Was she shunned by her Amish community? Has there been a drastic drop in people asking her for selfies? Tell me more about this “Mental and emotional stress that is so severe no reasonable person could be expected to endure it.”
Action 4. Irreparable Harm
Chile please. I’m not even sure that is an actionable thing. You probably should have just put that under action three. Something like “Patricia Altschul’s reputation is such that a guy doing a bike tour of Charleston focused on the filming locations of Southern Charm is causing her “irreparable harm” because she just can’t get the fuck over it.
I think Patricia is confusing her reputation with her feelings. No one with an upstanding reputation in their community does reality TV with pools full of beer coozies shaped like pink swans and drunks falling in bushes and alcoholic ne’er do wells past their prime pissing in the yard.
No one on Southern Charm has a stellar reputation in Charleston. None. Of. Them. They humiliate themselves on at TV for money. They all think they are somehow presenting themselves well. All of them. They are not.
Patricia has her granny panties in a bunch because she pays way too much attention to K. Cooper Ray. I used to follow K. Cooper Ray and seek out what he was up to. People do this if they are interested in what someone has to say. Then, I was disturbed by some of the things he was saying. So I stopped seeking him out. I think I have seen one video where he was inviting people to his tours. I don’t recall a mention of Patricia. Although there is no law against him mentioning her if he wants to.
Clearly, Patricia is seeking out K. Cooper Ray and she still doesn’t have one piece of evidence that shows defamation. Which indicates this is textbook vexatious litigation where one person with money tries to shut up someone she doesn’t like. This suit is clearly meant to be injurious to the defendant.
It’s a very bad look for someone who falsely thinks she is some sort of member of Charleston society, to punch down at someone who lost their job, lost their apartment, and is just trying to survive. THIS LAWSUIT will damage your reputation. Not some random guy on the Internet who doesn’t have your social media reach. In the interest of justice, the South Carolina Frivolous Civil Proceedings Sanctions Act needs to be enacted and damages should be paid to the defendant.
You should be ashamed of yourself, Patricia.
P.S, I always encourage you to READ THE COMMENTING RULES where I explain you are legally responsible for your comments. Most of these meaningless “exhibits” are actually comments on random sites. There is always someone with nothing but time and money to scour the net for every word ever written about them and file frivolous suits.