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‘Real Housewives’ Stars Defend Andy Cohen After Leah McSweeney’s Bombshell Lawsuit

Feature Andy Cohen Every Real Housewife Defending Andy Cohen
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Several Real Housewives franchise stars are coming to Andy Cohen’s defense following Leah McSweeney’s bombshell claims against the Bravo boss.

The former RHONY star filed a lawsuit against Cohen and Bravo on February 27. After news of her civil suit went public, she alleged in a lengthy Instagram post that the network executives “create a dangerous work environment, [and] encourage substance abuse.”

McSweeney claimed that NBCUniversal exploited her struggles with alcoholism and alleged that Cohen “engaged in cocaine use with ‘Housewives’ and other Bravolebrities that he employs,” according to court documents obtained by Page Six. McSweeney also alleged that Cohen “rewards Housewives with whom he uses cocaine with more favorable treatment and edits” on the shows. (Us Weekly has reached out to Cohen, Bravo and McSweeney for comment.)

McSweeney further claimed that she felt “pressured” to drink when she was on RHONY, despite allegedly telling producers before her first season that she had already been sober for 30 days. (McSweeney joined the series for seasons 12 and 13, which aired in 2020 and 2021.)

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“Today, I am taking back my reality. The reckless and diabolical way in which the people at the top drool over the mishaps and misfortunes of the women including myself are disturbing,” McSweeney wrote via Instagram. “It’s a workplace culture where toxicity, alcoholism and pain are not only expected but encouraged and facilitated. That is something I most definitely did not sign up for nor would I ever endorse.”

While Cohen has not addressed the lawsuit directly, his rep shut down McSweeney’s accusations in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on February 28, saying, “The claims against Andy are completely false.” A week later, Page Six obtained a letter sent from Cohen’s lawyers to McSweeney’s legal team, demanding that the “cocaine use” claims were retracted “immedediately.”

McSweeney’s legal team responded in a statement to Us Weekly on March 7, saying that the “threatening letter” was “hardly surprising.” The statement read, “We do not intend to litigate this matter in the press, and if Mr. Cohen wants to address Ms. McSweeney’s claims, we suggest he do so in Court, not in a letter for the press.”

McSweeney’s lawyer, Gary Adelman, has since released a statement to Us, addressing The Real Housewives stars who’ve spoken out in defense of McSweeney.

“There are more lawsuits coming and there are more people who are going to speak out,” the statement read. “It doesn’t matter what people say or think – that Andy’s a good guy, or 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. And we believe the law thinks this is wrong.”

Keep scrolling to see which Housewives have publicly shared their loyalty to Cohen in the wake of the bombshell lawsuit:

Guerdy Abraira

Guerdy Abraira Every Real Housewife Defending Andy Cohen
Guerdy Abraira Mindy Small/Getty Images

“Been around Andy many many times and have NEVER been offered anything but good hospitality,” the RHOM star wrote in the comments section of a February 28 Instagram post shared by Page Six.

Chanel Ayan

Chanel Ayan Every Real Housewife Defending Andy Cohen
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The RHODubai star urged McSweeney to “leave [Andy] alone” in an Instagram comment. “We are in a place where you can’t trust to be friends with anyone coz they be snitching on you even when it’s not reality or truth 😂,” she added on Page Six’s social media post.

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Luann de Lesseps

Luann de Lesseps Every Real Housewife Defending Andy Cohen
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De Lesseps, whose sobriety journey was captured by Bravo cameras, said she cannot agree with any allegation about being “forced to drink.”

“I can only say my experience. Part of the Housewives is parties, and of course, there’s drinking involved, but it’s not like someone forced her to drink,” the RHONY alum told TMZ on February 28. “You can’t force someone to drink something. You have to be the person who picks up the drink.”

She added: “I’ve known Andy for years, and it’s not in his character, and I’ve never, ever seen in the years that I’ve been doing Housewives any drug abuse.”

Cynthia Bailey

Cynthia Bailey Every Real Housewife Defending Andy Cohen
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Bailey also told TMZ that she hasn’t experienced what McSweeney is alleging, saying she’s “never been forced to do anything” while filming for Bravo.

“Everything that I did on the show was a choice,” the RHOA star said. “I think grown people, at the end of the day, have to be accountable and responsible for themselves.”

Kandi Burruss

Kandi Burruss Every Real Housewife Defending Andy Cohen
Kandi Burruss Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Burruss said she has a “good relationship” with Bravo while appearing on Tamron Hall’s talk show on February 29.

“I’ve been on that show for 14 years, and nobody can make me do anything,” the reality star, who recently announced her exit from RHOA, said. “So, people know I don’t do drugs, I’ve never been drunk in my life, and yes, I mean, some people ask for a little wine or a drink or whatever because that’s what they like. They like to have wine. They like to have drinks.”

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She continued: “That’s what they do when they want to have fun. Do I have drinks? No. So, the same way that I have a choice, they have a choice, too. Nobody is making you do anything.”

Margaret Josephs

Margaret Josephs Every Real Housewife Defending Andy Cohen
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The RHONJ star is “appalled” that someone would try to “target” Cohen’s character.

“I just want to also say about the cocaine allegations, Andy has never offered me cocaine. I am friends with every Housewife. He has never offered any Housewife cocaine,” Josephs told Page Six on February 29. “Those allegations are nothing but to assassinate his character and that is disgusting.”

She continued by calling Cohen “professional and funny,” noting that she’s never felt “pressured” to drink while filming as someone who doesn’t partake in alcohol.

Kyle Richards

Kyle Richards Every Real Housewife Defending Andy Cohen
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Richards cosigned Josephs’ sentiments in a separate statement to Page Six, calling Cohen a “professional” who “likes to keep somewhat of a distance” from the Real Housewives stars.

“I’ve never seen Andy do drugs, offer drugs or do anything inappropriate ever, ever,” the RHOBH OG said. “And I’m one of the closer ones to Andy.”

Richards, who has recently stopped drinking, also weighed in on the alcohol claims. “We’ve never been made to feel like we have to drink, never, not one time,” she said.

Heather Dubrow

Heather Dubrow Every Real Housewife Defending Andy Cohen
Heather Dubrow Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

The RHOC star detailed her “positive” experience on the show to Page Six as well.

“I have been involved in this franchise in one way or another for over 13 years and I, obviously, can only speak from my own experience, but I have never, ever felt like anyone was trying to make me drink alcohol,” she stated. “I’ve never seen anyone else forced to drink alcohol. It’s never even been a conversation. I’ve always felt, honestly, very protected by the producers and by the crew.”

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As for the drugs, Dubrow has “never” seen anything like what McSweeney alleged in her suit. However, she did note that being a Housewife is a “stressful” experience. “It’s an incredible platform and we, as cast members, really get so much from it that, to me, the pros completely outweigh the cons,” she added.

Meghan King

Meghan King Every Real Housewife Defending Andy Cohen
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The former RHOC star recalled an instance where a shot of water was accidentally swapped with alcohol on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen.

“There was confusion with the ‘shot ski’ and a production assistant had accidentally switched my shot with Andy’s,” she recalled to Page Six. “Andy was concerned because Gina [Kirschenheiter] does not drink alcohol, and told the production assistant in front of the whole live audience how that could never happen again, especially with a sober person as a guest.”

 Lisa Vanderpump

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“Nobody gets a good edit on that show, that’s for a fact,” Vanderpump, 63, told TMZ on March 2. “And Andy doing coke? I know because I’ve partied with him hundreds of times — in my business, in my house, in New York — I’ve never seen anything like that. I can categorically say, ‘No, he wouldn’t do that.’ I know for a fact he wouldn’t do that.”

She added, “Anybody can say anything, can’t they?”

When pressed further about the allegations, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum shot back, “That’s exactly what they are, allegations. Nothing concrete,” and went on to call McSweeney’s civil suit “bulls–t.”

Kiki Barth

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“Grateful for @bravoandy ‘s kindness and professionalism every time we’ve crossed paths,” Barth wrote via Instagram on March 2, alongside a photo of herself and the Bravo executive. “I am proud to call him my boss and can’t wait for many more years of creating great entertainment!”

The Real Housewives of Miami star concluded her post with the hashtags, “#thankful #greatboss #appreciationpost.”

Melissa Gorga

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“Throughout my 14 years of working with Andy, I have witnessed nothing but respect, kindness and support. I have never been offered any type of drug by him ever,” Gorga, 44, told Page Six on March 1.

Gorga has known Cohen since joining The Real Housewives of New Jersey with season 3 in 2011.

“His leadership style exemplifies authenticity. He prioritizes open communication and he’s very approachable,” she continued. “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn and grow under his guidance and share in his success.”

Marsyol Patton

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Patton shared via Instagram that, in her experience, Cohen was “always the consummate professional” during her time on The Real Housewives of Miami.

“My Jefecito 💜 @bravoandy Who I Have Known Personally And Professionally since 2011,” Patton captioned her post on March 1. “He Has Always Been Genuinely Fair, Loving, Considerate And Always The Consummate Professional. The Greatest Testament To His Character Was The Way He Treated My Mother An Anomaly In The Bravo-verse. You Are Loved And Appreciated In Heaven And On Earth. 💜💜”

Vicki Gunvalson

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The RHOC star told Us exclusively that she has little to no details about the legal drama, but Cohen has always been “professional” in her experience.

“I don’t know much other than she is suing Andy, which is crazy to me,” she said at DirectTV’s Oscars Viewing Party on March 10. “Why she is waiting now for everybody else and bringing our bosses down, I don’t know because I wasn’t there.”

Gunvalson declared that the suit was “dirty,” claiming that McSweeney is “trying to get deep pockets” from it. She made it clear that she’s on Cohen’s side, adding: “He has always been professional with me, we have a very big relationship.”

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