Yet another cast member of CMT’s Jersey Shore-style reality show Party Down South has found himself in legal trouble, and this time it involves the show directly, and accusations of rape on the set. Ryan “Daddy” Richards, famous for being the beer funnel toter of the eight-person cast, was accused of raping a woman who partied with the cast in their Athens, GA location in April during the taping of the current season. The woman reportedly met the cast at a local bar, and then ended up in the Athens, GA house the show was taped in. The woman says she was then handed an open beer to drink, and that was the last she remembered until waking up naked in a bed under a sheet, with a camera in her face.
Ryan “Daddy” Richards became the main suspect in the investigation that remained mostly under wraps until Thursday (7-31) when numerous celebrity and tabloid sites ran stories about the incident, and how police had found that after interviewing the cast and crew of the show, and reviewing roughly 20 hours of footage taken on the set, that they did not have the evidence to charge Richards in the case. The footage obtained by police reportedly shows the young woman partying with the rest of the cast. The release of information about the case conveniently coincided with the airing of Thursday’s Party Down South episode featuring the cast traveling to Cabo San Lucas.
Ryan Richards has not spoken about any of the specifics of the accusations because it’s “a legal matter,” but he did tell RumorFix, “The allegations were so false that I never even really lost any sleep over it to be honest with you.”
However there is evidence to the contrary of the Ryan Richards claims. The reason the case was pursued by police was because the accuser went to the hospital the day after spending the evening in the Athens, GA house, and after being examined by medical professionals, it was determined there was evidence of a sexual assault. Ryan Richards is still listed as a “suspect” in the police report, but barring further evidence or information, the case is currently closed.
Ryan Richards is the third Party Down South cast member to find themselves amidst legal trouble since the show started less than a year ago. Louisiana native Lyle Boudreaux was arrested in Maurice, LA for burglary of a vehicle. According to police, while at a Mardi Gras parade, Boudreaux found an unlocked car, rifled through a purse, and stole a credit card to fund the night’s drinking. Mattie Breaux of Louisiana was also served a bench warrant after she failed to appear in court as part of a pretrial hearing in March. The hearing was for a previous arrest for driving while intoxicated in September. Breaux was taping Season 2 of the reality show at the time of the hearing.
Party Down South has come under heavy scrutiny for its portrayal of Southerners in the show. Season 2 was initially scheduled to be taped in Pensacola, FL, but had to move to Athens when local residents and businesses did not want the show blemishing the city’s reputation. Ben “Cooter” Jones of The Dukes of Hazzard fame has also been a vocal opponent of the show.