Melissa Gorga says she’s ‘never been offered’ drugs by Andy Cohen as more ‘Housewives’ defend Bravo honcho against allegations

Melissa Gorga is adding her voice to the growing chorus of “Real Housewives” who are defending Bravo honcho Andy Cohen against Leah McSweeney’s claims that he allegedly offers cocaine to his favorite network stars.

“Throughout my 14 years of working with Andy, I have witnessed nothing but respect, kindness and support. I have never been offered any type of drug by him ever,” the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star, 44, exclusively tells Page Six.

Notably, Gorga has known Cohen, 55, the longest among most Bravolebrities. The “On Display” singer has maintained a full-time spot on “RHONJ” since 2011’s Season 3.

“His leadership style exemplifies authenticity. He prioritizes open communication and he’s very approachable,” she says, reflecting on her professional dynamic with Cohen.

Melissa Gorga
Melissa Gorga is adding her voice to the growing chorus of “Real Housewives” who are defending Andy Cohen against Leah McSweeney’s myriad of allegations. melissagorga/Instagram
Andy Cohen
“I have never been offered any type of drug by him ever,” the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star says of Cohen, who has denied McSweeney’s allegation that he offers cocaine to his favorite Bravo stars. Getty Images for SiriusXM
The Season 13 cast of "RHONJ"
Gorga (third from left) has known Cohen the longest among most Bravolebrities as she’s maintained a full-time spot on “RHONJ” since 2011’s Season 3.  Andrew Eccles/Bravo

“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn and grow under his guidance and share in his success.”

Earlier this week, “Real Housewives of New York City” alum McSweeney, 41, filed a lengthy lawsuit that leveled a myriad of accusations against Cohen and Bravo’s juggernaut franchise at large.

In addition to accusing Cohen of offering hard drugs to certain talent and handing out special professional favors to them, McSweeney claimed that Cohen and Bravo preyed on her alcohol issues in an attempt to generate favorable ratings and even facilitated a work environment that turned a blind eye to sexually predatory behavior.

Cohen has categorically denied the allegations, with a rep for the TV personality previously telling Page Six, “The claims against Andy are completely false.”

Leah McSweeney
Earlier this week, “Real Housewives of New York City” alum McSweeney filed a lengthy lawsuit targeting Cohen and Bravo’s juggernaut franchise at large. Leahmob/Instagram
Tinsley Mortimer, Dorinda Medley, Luann de Lesseps, Sonja Morgan, Ramona Singer, Leah McSweeney sitting on a grand staircase
McSweeney (far right) starred on “RHONY” for two seasons from 2020 until 2021. Sophy Holland/Bravo

Ashley Darby, a longtime cast member of “The Real Housewives of Potomac,” says she has been clubbing in the same vicinity as Cohen — but has never seen him indulge in any illicit substances or provide it to stars hired by Bravo.

“I can only speak to how Andy has been with me over these last eight years and even when I’ve seen him out and about. Around Fashion Week a couple of years ago, we were in the same club and I saw nothing of the sort,” she recalls.

“He’s just always been really professional with me and I’ve always felt like he’s treated me equally and fairly. I’ve never experienced this. It really catches me off guard.”

Ashley Darby
“Real Housewives of Potomac” star Ashley Darby tells Page Six she has never seen Cohen indulge in any illicit substances or provide it to stars hired by Bravo.  Ashley Darby/Instagram
Ashley Darby
“Around Fashion Week a couple of years ago, we were in the same club and I saw nothing of the sort,” she recalls.

Rachel Fuda, who recently joined “RHONJ” in 2023’s Season 13, tells us that McSweeney’s assessment of the Bravolebrity experience is a far cry from her own.

“I’m new to this whole world, I’ve had a few interactions with Andy and he’s been nothing but professional and kind and I don’t see a correlation of anything of these allegations with his behavior and the way that he has treated me,” she says.

“He’s been very professional, we’ve had professional conversations. There’s been nothing inappropriate. And I just think in life, we all have different experiences of things and some are saltier than others.”

Notably, McSweeney starred on “RHONY” for two seasons from 2020 until 2021.

Rachel Fuda
Rachel Fuda, who recently joined “RHONJ” in 2023’s Season 13, tells us that McSweeney’s assessment of the Bravolebrity experience is a far cry from her own.  Getty Images
Leah McSweeney
McSweeney claimed that Cohen and Bravo preyed on her alcohol issues in an attempt to generate favorable ratings and even facilitated a work environment that turned a blind eye to sexually predatory behavior. leahmob/Instagram

She lost her apple after the network rebooted the series with an entirely new cast and was not asked to participate in “The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip: RHONY Legacy” despite having appeared on “RHUGT” Season 3 that aired months prior.

“All of it kind of seems very calculated,” Fuda, 32, says, questioning the motive behind McSweeney taking legal action against Cohen.

“I’m not taking away the fact that that could have very well been her experience. But I just think, How long has she not been a ‘Housewife’ for?”

“Real Housewives of Miami” star Julia Lemigova, for her part, is surprised that McSweeney would turn against a system that she claims offers talent ample support.

Julia Lemigova
“Real Housewives of Miami” star Julia Lemigova tells Page Six she is confounded by McSweeney’s allegations. Getty Images
The "RHOM" cast
The Russia native (third from right) says Bravo and Cohen have “been nothing but great to her” since joining the franchise. Gizelle Hernandez/Stephanie Diani/Bravo

“[Bravo and Cohen] have been nothing but great to me and I consider myself lucky to be now part of this family. And if there is a question, we always have resources,” says the Russia native, 51, who made history as the first openly gay “Real Housewife” when “Miami” was rebooted in 2021.

“We even have psychologists on our team if we need to speak to somebody … To me, you don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”

McSweeney became a “Housewife” shortly after breaking a years-long sobriety streak. When it was time to film her second and final season of “RHONY,” she had recommitted herself to abstaining from alcohol.

“I think if you’re entering a show like this, you need to be equipped with the toolbox to take on a beast like this,” Fuda says, responding to McSweeney’s claim that her addiction struggles were exploited.

Leah McSweeney
McSweeney became a “Housewife” shortly after breaking a years-long sobriety streak; she claims that her addiction was exploited for the sake of ratings. leahmob/Instagram
Rachel Fuda and Julia Lemigova
“I think if you’re entering a show like this, you need to be equipped with the toolbox to take on a beast like this,” Fuda says while speaking to Page Six with Lemigova. Page Six

“You don’t walk into this and not know the nature of the beast. That’s my opinion. If you are recovering in any way, you need to have your s—t in order.”

Every “Housewife” interviewed for this story stresses that they’ve never been coerced into excessive alcohol consumption, refuting one of many explosive allegations made in McSweeney’s 109-page lawsuit.

Lemigova emphasizes that cast members are “grown-ass women” who can drink to their own volition.

“Nobody has ever pushed me to drink. Sometimes I put tequila in my drink, sometimes I put water,” she states. “We can make our own choices.”

Julia Lemigova
Lemigova emphasizes that cast members are “grown-ass women” who can imbibe at their own volition.  julialemigova/Instagram

Darby, 35, who, at points in her “Housewives” tenure, has abstained from alcohol says Truly Original — the production company that helms “RHOP” — “has always been very considerate,” allowing her to lead the charge when and if she has chosen to ditch booze as cameras rolled.

“No one ever tries to force me or coerce me into doing anything. That’s something I really appreciate and one of the reasons that I feel so comfortable sharing my life,” she says. “I feel like they do respect my boundaries and what I believe in. It really is on my terms.”

Darby’s “RHOP” castmate Dr. Wendy Osefo concurs, telling Page Six, “I have not experienced [producers forcing talent to drink] at all. It’s always been up to me, so that’s not something I’ve seen or witnessed.”

What Osefo, 39, has witnessed, she says, is Cohen’s consideration of the “Potomac” ladies and their experiences as black women — her “favorite thing” about the “Watch What Happens Live” host.

Dr. Wendy Osefo
Contrary to McSweeney’s assessment of Cohen, “RHOP” star Dr. Wendy Osefo applauds him for his consideration. Getty Images
Andy Cohen
Osefo considers the TV host an “ally” to the black community for championing “difficult” discussions about race on her show.

“To some element, I would even consider him an ally. Our franchise has been one that has not shied away from topics or discussions that are difficult to have in society — whether that’s colorism in the past, or currently this season we’re dealing with xenophobia,” the political commentator explains.

Describing his character, she elaborates, “He is very clear in his position as a white man and how our experiences are different than his. But it doesn’t make him ignorant of it. He’s always been so open to learn more and I appreciate that about him.”

Osefo enthuses that Cohen wants talent to “win outside of the platform,” even if that means pursuing non-Bravo-related projects.

“When I heard about the lawsuit, I was like, ‘This is completely contrary to who I know him to be.’ Because the ‘Housewives’ community is rather intimate. And he has been a great resource, a great sounding board for things beyond the Bravo world and the Bravo universe,” she says.

Dr. Wendy Osefo
“He has been a great resource, a great sounding board for things beyond the Bravo world and the Bravo universe,” the political commentator further raves. Greg Doherty/Bravo
Cast photo of the Real Housewives of Potomac.
Osefo (far left) and Darby (third from right) have starred on “RHOP” together since 2020’s Season 5. Jai Lennard/Bravo

“He’s always going to be Andy the boss, but if I want to have a conversation, he’s always available.”

Cohen is an executive producer on all US versions of the show — produced by a handful of different production companies — which currently spans eight stateside locations and one Middle East-set edition in Dubai.

Fuda, of “New Jersey,” and Lemigova, of “Miami,” are particularly grateful that Cohen — alongside Bravo — has championed a domain full of meaningful friendships between talent across “Housewives” iterations.

The ladies instantly clicked while sitting front-row at Naeem Khan runway show last month during New York Fashion Week.

Real Housewives” stars Rachel Fuda — of “New Jersey” — and Julia Lemigova — of “Miami” — take a front-row seat together at the Naeem Khan show during New York Fashion Week.
Fuda, of “New Jersey,” and Lemigova, of “Miami,” are particularly grateful that Cohen — alongside Bravo — has championed a domain full of meaningful friendships between talent across “Housewives” iterations.  Getty Images
Rachel Fuda
“I’m so happy that I met Julia through this world,” raves Fuda, who is participating in a Read Across America initiative this weekend with her new pal.

“I’m so happy that I met Julia through this world. This really is a sisterhood and the friendships and support we have from each other is such a bonus,” says Fuda, who, alongside Lemigova, is participating in Read Across America initiatives this weekend to encourage young readers to pick up books in celebration of Dr. Seuss Day.

“And we also have this amazing platform as ‘Housewives’ to make a difference, so it all feels like a win-win.”

Gorga, Darby, Fuda, Lemigova and Osefo are just one faction of a litany of Bravo stars who have spoken out in Cohen’s defense.

Margaret Josephs, Kyle Richards, Heather Dubrow, Meghan King, Tamra Judge, Guerdy Abraira, Kandi Burruss, Chanel Ayan, Dorinda Medley, Luann de Lesseps and Cynthia Bailey, among others, have done so as well.

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