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Andy Cohen and Bravo Face Lawsuit From Housewife Star

via E! News
This article was originally published at StateOfUnion.org. Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak, UltimateNewswire and others. To learn more about syndication opportunities, visit About Us.

Leah McSweeney, a former star of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York City,” filed a lawsuit alleging a toxic workplace culture that discriminated against her due to her disabilities.

She claimed producers manipulated her sobriety, pressured her to relapse, and engaged in psychological warfare.

“I thought it was going to be fun,” Leah McSweeney said.

The lawsuit also mentioned allegations against Andy Cohen and the use of cocaine among cast members.

NBCUniversal is investigating the claims, while Bravo emphasized their commitment to a safe work environment.

“For the last several years we have been working with our third-party production companies to enhance our protocols including stricter guidelines on alcohol consumption, direction on when to intervene to maintain the safety of cast and crew, increased psychological support, enhanced workplace trainings, more serious consequences for physical violence on set, and a requirement to provide cast and crew with a direct line to NBCUniversal to raise concerns. A number of claims that were made by Leah McSweeney were previously investigated and unsubstantiated,” a Bravo representative said.

“I knew that there was going to be drama and fighting, of course,” McSweeney said. “You know people are going to love you sometimes, they’re going to hate you sometimes — you know you’re going to be somewhat objectified and you’re there to entertain, et cetera. I just didn’t know that the corporate and the producers and the network also kind of looked at the women in the same way as the audience does. I thought we would be a little bit more humanized by them.”

“I was really hoping for the best,” she said. “I had had multiple discussions with multiple network executives who knew how I felt, and they said that this was going to be fun.”

“People can say whatever they want — oh, they’re narcissists, they want attention,” McSweeney said. “Yeah, some of that might be true, but they’re opening up their lives and putting everything out there to be judged, to have things misconstrued. I think there’s a level of respect that we don’t give them that they deserve, and that the network doesn’t give them either.”

McSweeney criticized the network’s treatment of reality stars and called for better handling of mental health issues in such shows.

“I think they can do better,” Ms. McSweeney said. “I think that they in general need to take alcoholism and drug addiction and mental health issues much more seriously, and not look at it like it’s just good ratings for television.”

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