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Andy Cohen Fires Back at Leah McSweeney’s ‘Categorically False’ Booger Sugar Allegations: ‘The Truth Matters’




Andy Cohen — executive producer of Bravo‘s “Real Housewives” franchise and the host of its nightly talk show “Watch What Happens Live” — has fired back against allegations made in a lawsuit by Leah McSweeney, a former cast member of “The Real Housewives of New York City.”



Cohen is calling former “Real Housewives of New York City” star Leah McSweeney’s bombshell lawsuit against him a “shakedown,” and claims that McSweeney is trying to “force an unjustified settlement” with the Bravo host.


But McSweeney’s attorneys told Page Six that his response is just an attempt to bully alleged victims like McSweeney into silence.


McSweeney’s suit, filed late last month, alleged that Cohen likes to snort cocaine with some of the “Housewives” stars, and that he’s part of a group of people who tried to exploit her substance issues and mental health struggles in a cynical attempt to drive up ratings.


But Cohen’s lawyer calls the cocaine allegations “categorically false,” and writes in a letter to McSweeney’s legal team seen by Page Six, “Mr. Cohen never used cocaine with any cast member on any ‘Real Housewives’ show or with any other Bravo employee.”


McSweeney’s lawsuit claims that Cohen, 55 — who is also executive producer of “RHONY” and its spinoff, “The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip” — “engages in cocaine use with Housewives that he employs” and that “Cohen’s proclivity for cocaine usage with his employees is well-known throughout the ‘Real Housewives’ franchise.”


The reality star, 41, who is in recovery, made the allegations about Cohen and cocaine as part of her case alleging that the network is built on a culture that “thrives off drug and alcohol use,” and that Bravo preyed on her alcohol problem by either intentionally exacerbating it, or by preventing her from seeking help in a cynical attempt to boost its own viewership. She’s also suing Bravo, Shed Media — a production company that makes “RHONY” and “RHUGT” — and Warner Media, which owns Shed.


Cohen’s lawyer, Orin Snyder of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, says in the fiery letter that McSweeney’s suit is “littered with false, offensive, and defamatory statements” about Cohen, and tells her legal team, “we demand that you immediately retract and withdraw all allegations relating to Mr. Cohen’s purported ‘cocaine use.’”


Addressing McSweeney’s attorney, the letter adds: “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.”


The letter adds that, “An allegation of drug use in the workplace is a serious charge,” and also claims that, “your reason for inventing the false allegations in the first place — to create a media frenzy and pressure in an attempt to force a settlement.”

The letter also accuses McSweeney’s suit of unfairly trying to gin up media coverage, and adds, “these allegations are missing every detail, including the who, where, and when.”


Cohen’s team adds in the missive: “We demand that you issue an immediate public retraction and apologize to Mr. Cohen. Every day you fail to do so only increases the damages suffered by Mr. Cohen.” A number of Bravo stars have stuck up for him on social media and in interviews following the lawsuit.


McSweeney’s attorney, Sarah M. Matz, of Adelman Matz P.C., told us in response:


“That Andy Cohen had his counsel and PR agents write a threatening letter to give to the press is hardly surprising. 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.”


She 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.”

This latest skirmish comes amid a flurry of legal activity involving Cohen, Bravo and various producers.


Former “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Brandi Glanville has also sent a legal letter claiming that Cohen sexually harassed her by sending her a video in which he said he was planning to have sex with a third Bravo star while thinking about Glanville and inviting her to watch on FaceTime.


Cohen has said that the remarks were made in jest, but apologized, acknowledging that the remarks were inappropriate.


Meanwhile, “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Caroline Manzo — who has claimed that Glanville sexually harassed her while filming “Real Housewives: Ultimate Girls Trip” — has filed suit against Cohen and Bravo, claiming that they plied Glanville with alcohol in the hopes that she would sexually pursue Manzo.


(Glanville has strenuously denied wrongdoing, while Bravo and Cohen have not responded to the claims).

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