Battling Bravo: Housewives File Lawsuits Exposing Toxic Workplace Allegations

Former Real Housewives of New York City and Ultimate Girls Trip: Thailand cast member Leah McSweeney has initiated a civil lawsuit in a New York federal court against Bravo, NBCUniversal, Shed Media, Warner Bros. Discovery, and Andy Cohen. Alongside her, executive producers Darren Ward, John Paparazzo, and Lisa Shannon are also named as defendants. This lawsuit follows a March 10, 2023, employment discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which was later dismissed to pursue legal action.

Battling Bravo: Housewives File Lawsuits Exposing Toxic Workplace Allegations

The lawsuit claims that the defendants discriminated against McSweeney, subjected her to torment, demoralization, demeaning treatment, harassment, and retaliation due to her gender and disabilities, including alcohol use disorder and mental health conditions. It alleges a toxic workplace culture that pressured employees to consume alcohol.

Specifically, the filing asserts that the producers, aware of McSweeney’s struggles with alcohol use disorder, colluded to pressure her to drink, retaliated when she sought sobriety, and neglected to provide reasonable accommodations. According to the filing, Lisa Shannon claimed that former cast member Dorinda Medley was terminated because she transformed from a ‘fun drunk’ to a ‘mean drunk.’

The lawsuit also implicates Andy Cohen, alleging that he engages in cocaine use with Housewives and provides favorable treatment and edits to those who partake. It claims that Cohen made inappropriate comments about McSweeney’s breast augmentation surgery, implying it qualified her for the role of a ‘housewife.’

In a similar vein, former Real Housewife Caroline Manzo has filed a civil suit related to the work environment on Ultimate Girls Trip. Her complaint includes NBCUniversal, Bravo, Shed Media, Peacock, Warner Bros. Entertainment, and Forest Productions Inc. as defendants. The suit alleges that producers encouraged cast member Brandi Glanville to drink during the production of Ultimate Girls Trip: Morocco, leading to outrageous and harassing acts, compromising the safety and rights of others.

Manzo’s filing further alleges that Glanville groped, grabbed, and forcibly fondled her, and despite her cries for help, no intervention occurred. Glanville, not named as a defendant, had previously revealed that producers encouraged her to “party” on the show. Another related lawsuit was filed by a butler, Marco Vega, against the same defendants, asserting claims of mistreatment during the production of Ultimate Girls Trip.

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