RHONY Star Leah McSweeney’s Lawsuit Claims Denied by Andy Cohen


The reality TV world has recently been rocked by new legal accusations targeting the Real Housewives franchise and television executive Andy Cohen. The lawsuits have been filed by Leah McSweeney, a former member of the reality franchise, and the accusations revolve around drug-related favoritism, exploiting addiction for ratings, and causing mental health repercussions.

The Lawsuit

Leah McSweeney claims that despite being aware of her struggles with alcohol and her fragile mental health, the team behind the show coerced her into consuming alcohol while filming. Named in the suit are Bravo, NBC/Universal, Shed Media US, producers John Paparazzo, Lisa Shannon, and Darren Ward, as well as Andy Cohen. McSweeney further alleges that Cohen favored those he used drugs with, detailing in her lawsuit that the host participated in cocaine use with cast members and other stars that he employs.

Cohen’s representative, however, categorically denies these claims, stating they are completely false. Moreover, an unidentified source has backed this, expressing outrage over the allegations of drug use between Andy Cohen and the Housewives.

McSweeney’s Cast History

A trailblazer in the fashion industry, McSweeney joined the Real Housewives franchise in 2019 and appeared in two seasons. She then moved to the spinoff series, the Real Housewives: Ultimate Girls Trip. After filming this show, there were discussions about her return to the main series, specifically ‘RHONY: Legacy,’ but she was not ultimately cast in the series. According to a source from production, McSweeney’s legal actions may be related to her dissatisfaction over missing out on this opportunity.

Disciplinary Action against McSweeney

In a recent Instagram post and through her lawsuit, Leah McSweeney alleges a toxic workplace culture within the production team that coerced her into consuming alcohol and retaliating against her when she decided to stay sober. Furthermore, she contends that while filming abroad, her rights were violated, and she was denied care for her addiction issues despite the knowledge of her struggles with alcohol by the producers.

Impact on Mental Health

Mental manipulation was another issue brought up in the lawsuit, where McSweeney claims that these actions were attempts to instigate a ratings-friendly meltdown. It is alleged that such attempts resulted in her admission into a psychiatric hospital for mental illness. The episode titled “Hurricane Leah,” which aired amidst this turbulent period, interestingly turned out to be one of the highest-rated episodes of the season.

Similar Incidents

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first unsavory incident associated with the Real Housewives franchise. Ex-cast member Brandi Glanville has also made legal accusations about Andy Cohen, claiming unnecessary sexual expression and an abuse of power. Other lawsuits include allegations of sexual assault during filming made by an ex-employee and a co-cast member against Glanville.

Call for Unionization and Improved Guidelines

Unionizing the talent to protect their interests is an idea that has been suggested amongst the reality star community. There are allegations of “grotesque” mistreatment, and “draconian” nondisclosure agreements, leading to the revision of NBC/Universal’s conduct guidelines to include more comprehensive alcohol training and mental health support for the cast and crew.

Wrapping Up

It is clear that the reality TV industry is enduring a significant shake-up with these lawsuits. Only time will tell how these claims affect the future of reality shows and the fate of the accused parties. For anyone interested in getting updated about the latest happenings in the entertainment world, stay tuned to HitPlay.

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