Leah McSweeney camp addresses the Bravo stars defending Andy Cohen

Estimated read time 4 min read

After former “Real Housewives of New York City” star Leah McSweeney filed a lawsuit against Bravo and its figurehead Andy Cohen, claiming that they had cynically attempted to exploit her alcohol problem in an attempt to draw huge ratings, a string of so-called “Bravolebrities” rushed to speak out in support of Cohen.

Many said he was “professional” and claimed they’d never felt pressured to drink, others responded to the claim in McSweeney’s lawsuit that Cohen had used cocaine with cast members by saying he had never offered them drugs.

One, Margaret Josephs of the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” went so far as to say: “Those allegations are nothing but to assassinate his character and that is disgusting.” She added: “I am appalled that someone would just go so low to assassinate and target someone’s character in that way.”

A number of “Real Housewives of New York City” stars have spoken out to defend Andy Cohen after Leah McSweeney filed a lawsuit against him. andycohen/Instagram

(A rep for Cohen has said that McSweeney’s claims against him are “completely false” and his attorney has said that McSweeney’s cocaine claims are an attempt to embarrass Cohen in an attempt to win a settlement.)

Now McSweeney’s publicist has addressed those responses, saying that McSweeney’s suit was only ever intended to address her own very specific set of circumstances: that, as the suit claimed, “RHONY” producers had previously had ratings success when their cast had seemed emotionally unstable on camera and that they’d tried to push her into the same state in hopes of replicating their earlier viewership triumphs.

“Leah has never claimed to speak for anyone else,” a rep for the designer-turned-reality-star told Page Six, “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. She’s not attempting to tell anyone else’s truth, but she won’t let anyone deny her truth either.”

Stars including Melissa Gorga have supported the “Watch What Happens Live!” host. Getty Images

The rep added: “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.”

“Housewives” stars Josephs, Kyle Richards, Heather Dubrow, Meghan King, Chanel Ayan and Kandi Burruss have all defended Cohen, as has “Selling Sunset” star GG Gharachedaghi. Meanwhile, fellow “RHONY” alum Kelly Bensimon had told Page Six that she felt slighted by McSweeney’s suit because she felt that it unfairly suggested she had been manipulated into appearing unstable on the show. She told us her behavior on the show was not the result of manipulation or alcohol use but the fruit of her own instincts for making good reality TV. (The suit had actually claimed that producers had attempted to manipulate McSweeney into behaving in an unstable manner similar to Bensimon’s, rather than claiming Bensimon herself had been manipulated).

Meanwhile, one of McSweeney’s lawyers, Gary Adelman, echoed her rep in his own statement.

Some have said he never offered them drugs, while others have said they have never felt pressured to drink. therealmargaretjosephs/Instagram

“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,” he told the BBC this week in a story about the legal rights of reality stars, “What’s going to matter is what the law thinks of it. And we believe the law thinks this is wrong.”

A rep for McSweeney said that she never intended to the experiences of others in the her suit. leahmob/Instagram

A rep for Bravo didn’t comment.