Andy Cohen Dismisses Leah McSweeney's 'RHONY' Lawsuit Claims as 'False'

Reality TV Drama Takes a Serious Legal Turn

by Zain ul Abedin
Andy Cohen Dismisses Leah McSweeney's 'RHONY' Lawsuit Claims as 'False'
© Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Television personality Andy Cohen has firmly rejected allegations levied against him in a lawsuit filed by Leah McSweeney, a former star of the "Real Housewives of New York City" (RHONY). A spokesperson for Cohen, aged 55, communicated to The Hollywood Reporter on February 28 that "The claims against Andy are completely false." The lawsuit, detailed in documents reviewed by The Hollywood Reporter, was filed on February 27 and names not only Cohen but also Bravo, NBCUniversal, Shed Media U, and individual producers John Paparazzo, Lisa Shannon, and Darren Ward as defendants.

McSweeney's legal action accuses the network and its personnel of deliberately exploiting her battle with alcoholism for entertainment value. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that Cohen showed preferential treatment and gave better on-air edits to cast members who indulged in cocaine use with him.

McSweeney's complaint further argues that Bravo fostered a "rotted workplace culture" that pressured cast members into alcohol consumption. She recounts informing production staff of her sobriety efforts prior to her first season on the show, only to face encouragement to drink during her tenure.

The lawsuit claims retaliation against her sobriety efforts, accusing the production of failing to provide necessary support to maintain her sobriety, which she deems essential for her performance on the show.

McSweeney's Bold Lawsuit

Highlighting an incident during filming in Thailand, McSweeney states her rights were infringed upon when she was denied access to addiction care services and proper transportation to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, despite assurances to the contrary.

She alleges mental manipulation aimed at boosting show ratings. McSweeney, who joined RHONY in 2019 and appeared in two seasons before participating in Peacock’s "The Real Housewives: Ultimate Girls Trip" in 2022, has publicly addressed the lawsuit on social media.

She describes coming forward as daunting, citing a pervasive culture within Bravo's programming that glorifies and exacerbates personal struggles for dramatic effect. McSweeney vows to unveil more as legal proceedings progress, emphasizing her commitment to sobriety as her utmost priority.

This lawsuit emerges closely on the heels of another controversy involving Cohen, as "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" alum Brandi Glanville recently accused him of s-xual harassment. Glanville's allegations, which Cohen has dismissed as a misunderstood joke, paint a troubling picture of power dynamics within the network.