Home News Andy Cohen threatens legal action over Leah McSweeney harassment, cocaine claims

Andy Cohen threatens legal action over Leah McSweeney harassment, cocaine claims

Public accusations of cocaine use is apparently a bridge too far for reality TV kingpin Andy Cohen.

Cohen, who executive produces Bravo’s wildly popular “Real Housewives” franchise, is fighting back against allegations lodged in a lawsuit by Leah McSweeney, an ex-castmate of “The Real Housewives of New York City.”

Cohen’s lawyer, Orin Snyder, fired off a letter Wednesday, calling her claims “false, offensive and defamatory.”

Last week, McSweeney filed a complaint against Cohen, Bravo and NBCUniversal alleging sexual harassment and discrimination. She also accused the 55-year-old father of two of fostering a “rotted workplace culture” and showing favor to various Bravolebrities who used cocaine with him.

In a vehement denial, Snyder told McSweeney’s attorney, Sarah M. Matz, that without a retraction Cohen reserves the right to hold her accountable “to the fullest extent of the law.”

“To be clear: these allegations are categorically false,” he wrote in part. “Mr. Cohen never used cocaine with any cast member on any ‘Real Housewives’ show or with any other Bravo employee. The allegations were obviously made up by you and/or your client to achieve maximum tabloid clickbait value in the hopes of weaponizing these false allegations — along with other lies that permeate the complaint — as leverage to force an unjustified settlement. It will not. Instead, this conduct only subjects you and your client to independent and substantial legal exposure.”

Snyder is requesting a swift retraction and apology from the 41-year-old fashion designer, who starred in three seasons of the Big Apple-based franchise.

“The truth matters,” he wrote. “Litigation cannot be used to create fake news. And it cannot be used as a vehicle to spread false and malicious lies, in furtherance of a shakedown. We demand that you issue an immediate public retraction and apologize to Mr. Cohen.”

Matz, meanwhile, was seemingly unfazed by the Cohen correspondence and said she and her client are ready to duke it out in court.

“That Andy Cohen had his counsel and PR agents write a threatening letter to give to the press is hardly surprising,” she wrote in a statement. “Mr. Cohen is accustomed to using his power in the media to scare and intimidate people like Ms. McSweeney so that they will not speak out.”

“Mr. Cohen’s attempt to discredit and intimidate Ms. McSweeney to deter her from engaging in legally protected activity in court is exactly the type of retaliation that this lawsuit was brought to address and only is further evidence for Ms. McSweeney,” Matz added. “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.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 12: Leah McSweeney attends the Private Policy show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Mezzanine at Spring Studios on February 12, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Manny Carabel/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)
Leah McSweeney during New York Fashion Week on Feb. 12, 2023 in New York. (Manny Carabel/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)

McSweeney’s lawsuit follows recent sexual harassment suits filed by other former Housewives, including “Beverly Hills” alum Brandi Glanville and ex-“New Jersey” star Caroline Manzo.

The “Watch What Happens Live!” host — who was also named in a 2022 lawsuit filed by former “Atlanta” castmate Nene Leakes, in which she alleged a hostile and racist environment — previously denied 2017 accusations that he offered comedian Kathy Griffin cocaine before appearances on his late-night talk show.


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