Season 5 of Southern Charm has been a wild one — the women have banded together, Kathryn is on the straight-and-narrow, and Thomas’ girlfriend, Ashley, seems like she’s been out for blood the whole time, which is why a huge cloud hung over the first iteration of the Southern Charm Season 5 reunion. When would Ashley come out? What would she say to Kathryn? Well, Bravo waited until the second part of the reunion to feature Ashley, and let’s just say she didn’t redeem herself all that much in the eyes of the cast, even though she did apologize to Kathryn for the outright terrible stuff she said about the mother of her boyfriend’s children. But no matter — Kathryn doesn’t owe Ashley anything on Southern Charm, and she certainly doesn’t have to forgive her on national television for what she said.
Kathryn and Thomas have a volatile relationship. They were hot and cold, hating each other on social media and then rekindling just long enough (it doesn’t take that long, I guess) to have another baby. Then, Kathryn fell into her issues with substance abuse, she went to rehab, her kids got taken away, and she did everything she could to get them back. Now, according to the last episode of Southern Charm Season 5, she and Thomas share custody of their children, Kensie and Saint, and that’s wonderful.
Kathryn and Thomas are a family because of the two beautiful kiddos they created together, but don’t say that too loud in front of Ashley, who seems dead set on calling Kathryn out for all of her past infractions every single chance she gets. When the group went to Hilton Head, Ashley told Kathryn that she was a bad mother who wouldn’t visit her child in the hospital. At Patricia Altschul’s winter ball, Ashley told Kathryn she was no more than an “egg donor” and kept calling her “baby momma” over and over, along with saying that she “knew things” and that Kathryn should “be careful” around her. The threats had to be empty, because Kathryn is clean, sober, and didn't take any of it.
On the reunion, not much changed. Ashley both doubled down and apologized for the absolutely horrible stuff that she said to Kathryn. She asserted that she wasn’t sorry for what she said and that what she said was true while also apologizing for saying that Kathryn was an “egg donor.” Yes, I was also confused. Yes, Ashley seemed nervous and stressed out at the reunion, but it was her first. It’s a new experience, and if I had said what Ashley said to Kathryn to a person I had to face again on television, I’d be nervous, too.
By the end of the reunion show, Ashley said that she wanted to spend more time with Kathryn and again semi-apologized for the terrible awful she said to Kathryn. Kathryn, who deserves a lot of credit for not letting all of that get to her, wasn’t having it, though. She told Ashley that she was a downright terrible person, that she crossed the line, and that she didn’t have a thing left to say to about it.
Now, there are probably some people at home that are all, “Well, Ashley and Kathryn should get along for the sake of the children.” Sure, but there’s a point between being cordial and being a punching bag. While Kathryn must do what’s best for her children and that includes having a nice relationship with their father and whoever he's dating, she owes Ashley absolutely nothing. Ashley and Thomas aren’t married nor engaged. They’re just dating, and she’s not family. Not yet. No one should ever say what Ashley said to Kathryn — Kathryn has a checkered past, but who is Ashley to even bring it up?
After all that Kathryn has faced in dealing with Thomas, his friends, and the judgmental eyes of Charleston society, she is more than allowed avoid toxic people, and Ashley is nothing but toxic to her. Kathryn can be kind to Thomas and not see Ashley, and she has every right as a parent to express her discomfort with a person like Ashley spending a ton of time with her children given their relationship. Ashley had a chance to be open and kind and genuinely apologetic to Kathryn at the Southern Charm reunion, and instead, she chose to once again be defensive and go low.
If this is how Ashley wants to be remembered on television and immortalized on Bravo, it's not a good look. The rest of the cast is behind Kathryn — she has emerged from the ashes of rumor and rehab, and now, she deserves to be able to walk away when she needs to. Kathryn doesn’t owe Ashley her forgiveness or anything else.
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