Leah McSweeney at the 2022 Harper's Bazaar ICONS

Leah McSweeney Says Lawsuit Against Andy Cohen Is Her 'Own Lived Experiences'

Home / Entertainment / Leah McSweeney Says Lawsuit Against Andy Cohen Is Her 'Own Lived Experiences'

By Afouda Bamidele on March 18, 2024 at 11:45 AM EDT

The drama within the Bravo family continues as several Bravolebrities defend Andy Cohen while Leah McSweeney remains confident in her truth.

The "Real Housewives of New York City" alum recently addressed the ongoing narrative against her by former castmates and other reality TV stars. Through her rep, she stressed that the bombshell details in her lawsuit shouldn't be disregarded just because no one can relate to them.

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Leah McSweeney Claps Back At Andy Cohen's Defenders

Leah McSweeney at the 2022 Harper's Bazaar ICONS
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When McSweeney filed a lawsuit against Bravo and its executive producer, Andy Cohen, she never expected so many women to belittle the alleged pain she had endured.

Her publicist recently shared her thoughts on the backlash, clarifying that she only ever wanted to seek justice for her own circumstances.

In her shocking legal filing, McSweeney accused "RHONY" producers of exploiting her alcohol issues for ratings and claimed Cohen promoted a dysfunctional behind-the-scenes culture at Bravo.

While some Housewives have denied these claims, the aggrieved reality TV star's rep told PageSix:

"Leah has never claimed to speak for anyone else. She… filed this lawsuit based on her own lived experiences. The claims in Leah's lawsuit are about Leah's experiences at Bravo and Leah's experiences only."

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"She's not attempting to tell anyone else's truth, but she won't let anyone deny her truth either," the publicist stressed, implying that Cohen's defenders shouldn't try to shut McSweeney up because her circumstances never happened to them.

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McSweeney's Rep Slams Bravolebrities For Belittling Her Pain

Leah McSweeney works out at a boxing gym
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McSweeney's rep did not mince their words against her critics, noting the backlash she received wouldn't have happened in a different workspace. The Married to the Mob founder's publicist said:

"Imagine a female employee making claims similar to Leah's about drug and alcohol use at any other major company — from Facebook to Coca-Cola to UPS or anywhere. Would this be the reaction? But because [Bravo is] an entertainment brand, somehow people think it's okay to dismiss and downplay a woman's stories of mistreatment at work."

One of McSweeney's lawyers, Gary Adelman, echoed similar sentiments to her rep. In a different interview, he stressed that only the laws' opinions about Cohen and Bravo mattered in the case.

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"It doesn't matter what people say or think – that Andy's a good guy, or that you should expect to drink [on Bravo shows], or that you should expect this behavior," Adelman explained, adding: 

"What's going to matter is what the law thinks of it. And we believe the law thinks this is wrong."

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Bravolebrities Throw Their Support Behind Andy Cohen

Margaret Josephs at The Exhibition Gala Reception in NYC
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As stated, McSweeney's lawsuit received criticisms from other Bravo stars, including the Housewives Margaret Josephs, Kyle Richards, Heather Dubrow, Meghan King, Chanel Ayan, Kandi Burruss, and "Selling Sunset" star GG Gharachedaghi.

The "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Josephs vehemently refuted McSweeney's claims as an underhand attack on Cohen. "Those allegations are nothing but to assassinate his character, and that is disgusting," she claimed, adding:

"I am appalled that someone would just go so low to assassinate and target someone's character in that way."

Meanwhile, fellow "RHONY" alum Kelly Bensimon confessed she felt offended by McSweeney's lawsuit because it unfairly suggested she had been manipulated into appearing emotionally unstable on the show.

According to Bensimon, her behavior on set wasn't a result of Bravo's manipulation or her alcohol use. Instead, she believed her actions were the fruit of her instincts to make a great reality TV show.

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Inside Leah McSweeney's Bombshell Claims

Andy Cohen attends iHeartRadio z100's Jingle Ball 2023
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Last month, McSweeney lodged severe allegations against Bravo and Cohen for breaching her rights under employment law.

She emphasized the severity of her case by revealing the network's alleged substance-induced culture, which its figurehead allegedly promoted.

"The Real Housewives: Ultimate Girls Trip" alum accused Cohen of engaging "in cocaine use with Housewives that he employs."

She claimed his proclivity for the illicit drug was well-known at Bravo and in the Housewives franchise, with some of his partners receiving special benefits.

"Cohen tends to provide the Housewives with whom he uses cocaine with more favorable treatment and [makes them appear more agreeably [in] edits [of their shows]," the legal documents claimed. However, it did not name the reality TV stars in question.

The Reality Star Claimed Bravo Promoted A Dysfunctional Culture

Leah McSweeney works out at a boxing gym
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McSweeney repeatedly slammed Cohen's alleged drug use in her lawsuit, stressing that, "Cohen intentionally uses cocaine with his employees to further promote a workplace culture that thrives off drug and alcohol use, which leads to a failure to accommodate employees who are disabled and trying to stay substance free."

As for Bravo, the reality TV giant was called out for encouraging the terrible culture. She noted that they did little to stop the alcohol and drug use system but also allegedly ignored sexually predatory behavior.

In her allegations, Leah McSweeney highlighted the case of a producer employed by Shed Media — the production company that makes several "Real Housewives" shows.

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This executive was accused of sending "unsolicited pictures of [their] genitalia to lower-level production employees."

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