Patricia Altschul's Story of How She Hired Her Butler Michael Is a Little... Dark

Patricia Altschul's Story of How She Hired Her Butler Michael Is a Little... Dark

When it came to hiring her beloved butler, the Southern Charm doyenne did not hesitate. 

By Patricia Cunningham
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As every fan of Southern Charm knows, butler Michael Kelcourse is Patricia Altschul’s secret weapon — able to whip up one of his world-famous martinis or pull together dinner for a party of 10 at a moment’s notice, all while keeping the dogs in check, of course. But what some may not know is just exactly how Michael came to be Patricia's righthand man 16 years ago. And, um, it turns out the story is a little on the dark side. 

In a wide-ranging interview with the New York Times, Patricia opened up about the day the fates aligned and she came to employ Michael. Immediately following the death of his previous employer, Patricia's interior designer Mario Buatta let her know that the talented Michael would be looking for work — but not for long, as many local grande dames were circling. 

In her haste to nab him, Patricia decided to circumvent the rules of decorum and call Michael, even though his employer hadn’t even been laid to rest yet. 

“I don’t think she’d even been buried yet, had she?” Patricia asked Michael while retelling the story to the Times.

“Or cremated,” Michael added.

“Her body wasn’t cold,” Patricia said. “Best decision I ever made.”

And the rest is history. Learn more about Michael's life before coming to Charleston here.

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