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Leah McSweeney Files Lawsuit, Accuses Andy Cohen and Bravo of ‘Encouraging Substance Abuse’

Leah McSweeney has filed a civil lawsuit against Bravo and Andy Cohen after her experience filming Real Housewives of New York City and Real Housewives: Ultimate Girls Trip.

According to court documents obtained by Page Six on Tuesday, February 27, the reality star and her attorneys allege Cohen, 55, and the network intentionally preyed on McSweeney’s struggle with alcoholism in an attempt to score big ratings.

“This is not a story I ever thought I would be telling; in fact, I was petrified to speak on it and was warned not to,” McSweeney, 41, said via an Instagram post hours after the suit was filed. “Your favorite Bravo shows are run by people who create a dangerous work environment, encourage substance abuse to artificially create drama and cynically prey on the vulnerabilities of their employees.”

While McSweeney said some of the stories detailed in the lawsuit have been shown in edited form on TV, viewers could learn much more as the case plays out in New York.

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“There will be much more that comes out once the people involved are questioned under oath. Today I am taking back my reality,” she said. “The reckless and diabolical way in which the people at the top drool over the mishaps and misfortunes of the women including myself are disturbing. It’s a workplace culture where toxicity, alcoholism and pain are not only expected but encouraged and facilitated. That is something I most definitely did not sign up for nor would I ever endorse.”

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McSweeney appeared in two seasons of Real Housewives of New York City between 2020 and 2021 and one season of the spinoff Real Housewives: Ultimate Girls Trip in 2023.

In the suit, McSweeney said she told producers before her first season that she’d been sober for 30 days and working to maintain her sobriety.

Instead of providing adequate care and support throughout her filming experience, McSweeney and her legal team alleged in the lawsuit that producers pressured her to drink in all three seasons.

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“There is nothing more important than my sobriety, without it I risk losing everything,” McSweeney said via Instagram. “I have been very transparent about my addiction and recovery, however there are personal things in the lawsuit that I never wanted to disclose for fear of being judged and shamed, but I am at a point now in my life where I feel strong enough to withstand whatever may come my way.”

While McSweeney said she has “love and respect for many” of the Bravo talent she has met and worked with over the years, she hopes her lawsuit “helps reality TV to align with its true purpose: to authentically depict the complexities of life while offering genuine support to those who share their stories.”

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“I’ve been trying to address this internally for years now but have been dismissed, stone-walled, and gaslit (but actually) at every turn since,” she said. “Bravo can try to manipulate my reality and others’ all they want, but the cold hard facts of this case are as real as it gets. Thank you to my close friends and family and of course @adelmanmatz who have supported me in every difficult but necessary step of this journey. I will see you in court.”

Us Weekly has reached out to Bravo, Cohen’s rep and McSweeney’s attorneys for comment.

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