‘RHONY’ Alum Leah Mcsweeney’s Lawsuit Against Andy Cohen and Bravo Explained

Leah McSweeney’s case against the ‘RHONY’ EP states Andy “intentionally uses cocaine with his employees.”

Elizabeth Randolph - Author
By

Mar. 13 2024, Updated 11:25 a.m. ET

(l-r): Leah McSweeney and Andy Cohen
Source: Getty Images

Since her exit from The Real Housewives of New York City, Leah McSweeney has been candid about how her time on the show negatively impacted her health and sobriety goals.The fashion model is now taking legal action against her former network and The Real Housewives franchise’s executive producer, Andy Cohen.

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In her lawsuit, which went public on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, Leah made several shocking allegations against the Watch What Happens Live host. Many of the claims include drug use, a rumor that has plagued Andy for years.

Here’s what to know about Leah’s lawsuit and allegations against the Housewives boss.

Leah McSweeney for 'RHONY'
Source: Bravo
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‘RHONY’ alum Leah McSweeney’s lawsuit claimed Andy Cohen uses cocaine with unnamed ‘Real Housewives’ stars.

Leah starred on RHONY for two seasons between 2020 and 2021. During her time on the show, she candidly addressed her issues with alcohol abuse. In her lawsuit against Andy, Leah claimed Bravo “pressured her to drink” and refused to help her seek sobriety.

On Feb. 27, Page Six reported Leah is seeking “unspecified damages” against Andy, Bravo, RHONY’s production studio Shed Media, and producers John Paparazzo, Lisa Shannon, and Darren Ward. Leah shared in the legal documents that Andy and the networks disallowed her to care for her mental health and alcohol use disorder.

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Leah McSweeney on 'Real Housewives Ultimate Girls' Trip'
Source: Peacock

What’s more, she said Andy allegedly “engages in cocaine use with Housewives that he employs,” though none of them are named in the lawsuit. However, Leah said the Housewives cast members who have engaged in cocaine with Andy received “favorable treatment” from him, including receiving more flattering edits than their other co-stars. She claimed Andy’s behavior is a well-known secret amongst the Bravo team.

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“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,” Leah’s lawyers stated in the documents. “Cohen’s preferred workplace environment, which is fueled with substances and illicit behavior, permeates every aspect of Defendant Bravo's productions.”

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Leah’s lawsuit also made damaging allegations against Shed Media, which produces several Real Housewives shows in addition to RHONY. Leah said in her case that a Shed Media producer “routinely sends unsolicited pictures of [their] genitalia to lower-level production employees” as a form of sexual harassment.

The lawsuit says Bravo and Shed are allegedly well aware of the producer’s actions but have continued to “elevate” the unnamed producer “to positions of increased power.”

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Andy Cohen
Source: Getty Images

Andy Cohen has denied all of Leah McSweeney’s allegations.

Amid Leah’s lawsuit against Andy, Bravo, Shed Media, and Warner Media, a rep for Andy briefly addressed the Housewives head honcho’s role. The statement from the rep showed Andy denying any of Leah’s allegations.

“The claims against Andy are completely false,” the rep told Page Six.

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Despite Andy’s rep dismissing the claims, Leah’s lawsuit came after other former Bravo and Housewives stars accused Andy of similar inappropriate behavior.

Brandi Glanville
Source: Getty Images
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Brandi Glanville and NeNe Leakes also filed complaints against Andy Cohen.

On Feb. 22, 2024, less than a week before Leah’s case surfaced, former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Brandi Glanville claimed in a legal letter obtained by Page Six accusing Andy of sexual harassment.

Brandi’s letter, via her lawyers, stated that, in 2022, an “obviously inebriated” Andy sent Brandi a video where he “boasted” about wanting to sleep with Below Deck star Kate Chastain while “thinking” about Brandi. He also asked Brandi if she wanted to watch the act via FaceTime. Brandi said in the letter that Andy “exercised complete and total control over her career” with the proposition, as he was her boss at the time.

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Although Brandi didn’t disclose who the other Bravolebrity Andy discussed was, he named Kate directly in his statement about the allegations. In a message on his X account, Andy said the video to Brandi was “in jest,” though he admitted it was “inappropriate.”

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“It was absolutely meant in jest, and Brandi’s response clearly communicated she was in on the joke,” Andy wrote on Feb. 22. “That said, it was totally inappropriate, and I apologize.”

Former Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes also stated in her 2022 lawsuit that Andy, Bravo, and NBCUniversal for “fostering a hostile and racist work environment” and has called Andy “racist” on X. However, the case against Andy and the networks was dismissed “without prejudice” in August 2022.

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Several 'Real Housewives' stars have defended Andy Cohen against Leah McSweeney, causing her to respond.

Leah's shocking allegations against Andy have, unsurprisingly, caused an uproar around the Bravo universe. Amid the lawsuit, many Real Housewives stars, who have often been dubbed "Andy's Girls," came to his defense on social media.

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According to Us Weekly, the executive has received support from Julia Lemigova, Margaret Josephs, Guerdy Abraira, Melissa Gorga, Kandi Burruss, Kiki Barth, LuAnn de Lesseps, and Ashley Darby, to name a few.

Vicki Gunvalson, who helped Andy launch the Real Housewives franchise by starring in Orange County in 2006, has also spoken out about Leah taking legal action against their former boss. While Vicki officially left RHOC as a full-time housewife in January 2020, she told Us Weekly she and Andy have a "big relationship." She also said that Leah's "dirty lawsuit" was "crazy."

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(l-r): Andy Cohen and Vicki Gunvalson
Source: Getty Images

“Why she is waiting now for everybody else and bringing our bosses down?" Vicki asked the outlet. "I don’t know because I wasn’t there.”

Us reported that Vicki later added she believed Leah's lawsuit had more to do with her "trying to get deep pockets” from it." Vicki's comments and other Housewives stars' support caused Leah to release a statement through her lawyer, Gary Adelman. On March 12, Adelman warned the allegations from Andy wouldn't stop with Leah.

"There are more lawsuits coming, and there are more people who are going to speak out,” he told Us Weekly. It doesn’t matter what people say or think—that Andy’s a good guy, that you should expect to drink, or that you should expect this behavior.”

"What’s going to matter is what the law thinks of it," Adelman continued. "And we believe the law thinks this is wrong.”

Andy Cohen has maintained business as usual at Bravo.

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