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Andy Cohen Files to Dismiss Leah McSweeney's Lawsuit but Her Attorney Argues the Motion Has No Merit


Andy Cohen has filed to dismiss Leah McSweeney's lawsuit alleging toxic workplace culture and discrimination.



Andy Cohen once described the Real Housewives franchise as “guilt free gossiping,” and now he, NBCUniversal, Warner Bros Discovery and others are denying any guilt in the workplace discrimination and retaliation claims from RHONY vet Leah McSweeney.


And, with the Constitution as their primary shield, it ain’t pretty.


“While Plaintiff attempts to overwhelm with a 754-paragraph complaint, even a cursory review of her allegations reveals that many concern matters entirely irrelevant to her claims and most are devoid of any factual or legal support, speculative, misleading, and/or demonstrably false,” declares a memorandum of law supporting Cohen’s May 22 motion to toss out McSweeney’s drugs, drink and discrimination claims of February 27.


Prepared by Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp’s Christine Lepera, Jacaob Albertson and Adam Levin, the motion, which is also of behalf of fellow defendants NBCU, WBD, Lisa Shannon, John Paparazzo, Darren Ward, Shed Media US Inc and Bravo Media, wants NYC-based U.S. District Judge Lewis J. Liman to set a date for hearing ASAP to see the matter tossed.


“Many of Plaintiff’s claims, supported only by the most conclusory and threadbare allegations, should be dismissed as a matter of law,” the 32-page memo goes on to say of McSweeney’s somewhat explosive suit. “The rest of Plaintiff’s claims should be dismissed because they impermissibly seek to abridge Defendants’ First Amendment rights to tailor and adjust the messages they wish to convey in their creative works, including through cast selection and other creative decisions.”


Far from the first member of the Housewives multiverse to put Cohen and his conduct under the microscope, McSweeney’s long expected suit of earlier this year certainly had the distinction of pulling back the drapes on some of the more grubby aspect of the lucrative non-scripted enterprise. Weaving a tale of a “rotted workplace culture that uniquely depended on pressuring its employees to consume alcohol,” McSweeney and her Adelman-Matz attorneys go on to state that RH franchise EP Cohen “engages in cocaine use with Housewives and other Bravolebrities that he employs.” Additionally, the filing claims that Cohen gives the “Housewives with whom he uses cocaine with more favorable treatment and edits.”


Cohen, NBCU, WBD and the other defendants address those accusations straight on again, kinda.


“Under well-settled law, even if Defendants did want to use the Housewives franchise to feature inebriated cast members (which they do not), that message—achieved through casting and directing decisions—would be protected under the First Amendment,” the memo accompanying the dismissal motion puts forth with a straight face.


And let’s put that in context.


On May 9, Bravo announced that it had completed a third party-run investigation on McSweeney’s claims and those of Brandi Glanville. That probe determined “the claims were found to be unsubstantiated.” Conveniently, that same day, just before the NBCU upfront in the Big Apple, the Cohen hosted Watch What Happens Next Live! was picked up until the end of 2025 and a bevy of RH series were renewed.


Both lawyers for Glanville and McSweeney immediately called BS, with the latter’s attorney Gary Adelman telling Deadline: “How do you have an investigation without speaking with to anyone?” He added, with scorn: “Our opinion is that no one is going to believe this was a real investigation.”


That scorn was evident again today in response to the motion to dismiss filing by Cohen and the other defendants.


“We do not agree that the motion has merit — it mostly argues for dismissal on technical grounds essentially saying that Defendants were allowed to discriminate against Ms. McSweeney — not that they did not do it,” Adelman-Matz co-founder Sarah Matz said “To agree with the Defendants would be to essentially say that the creative industries are not subject to anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation laws and that networks could engage in discrimination and retaliation with impunity, which is not the law.”


With several other accusations swirling around Cohen, Bravo and Reality TV in general of late, we’ll see what Judge Liman says when a hearing is finally held.

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