'Housewives' Stars Claim Bravo Pushed Alcohol on Them

Aviva Drescher, who starred on Bravo's The Real Housewives of New York for its fifth and sixth seasons, has claimed that the network had no problem with the women of the franchise drinking excessively, telling Page Six that things could get out of hand with the cast encouraged to drink.

"When I see some of the drunk scenes, it's dark," Drescher said. "It's gone from being funny and giddy to being drunk and depressing and it makes me feel sad."

"There are certain scenes where I'm just cringing for everybody involved."

She recalled a moment when she says a producer asked her to take a shot, noting that she had grown up with an alcoholic mother and had never taken a shot before.

"I told the head producer, 'I don't want to do a shot. Can you just fill it with water?'" the 47-year-old recalled. "And they said no.

"I was so weak and so intimidated by the production team, and I had just gone through all the negotiations of my contract for the second season and those were demoralizing," she added. "I took the shot. I felt tremendous pressure to do it."

Drescher wasn't the only cast member to allege that the show was happy to get its stars liquored up, with Gretchen Rossi, who was featured on The Real Housewives of Orange County for several years, recalling a dinner party where she became intoxicated.

"I woke up and thought, 'Gosh, I never specifically went up and asked for another drink.' My drink always seemed to be magically filled up," she said. "So I realized that, possibly, producers were in the background going to the server, 'It looks like Gretchen needs more alcohol.'"

Rossi said that she spoke to producers about the situation the next day and was met with detailed notes.

"One of the producers goes, 'Did anybody force you to drink? According to our notes here, you had two martinis, two shots of tequila,'" she said. "They had literally documented every single drink I had. I found that to be very strange. It makes your stomach turn a little. It made me question what their intentions are."

Cindy Barshop, who appeared on RHONY for one year in 2011, said, "Everything is free, so the women drink in excess."

Added former RHONY cast member Kelly Bensimon, "It said on the contract: Anything goes and you can't sue for defamation of character — because you wanted to be on the show, and wanted to be famous."

The 50-year-old recalled one night when she said castmate Sonja Morgan was drunk and unable to walk.

"I was like, 'I need to bring this woman home. This is just not cool,'" Bensimon said. "The producers said, 'Don't help her, don't help her.'"

A Bravo spokeswoman said, "The franchise follows the women in their real lives. No one is pressured to drink alcohol. If the network, production company or castmates have deemed that someone is putting themselves at risk in their overall lives, we have taken and will continue to take responsible action."

Andy Cohen, who is the executive producer of the Housewives franchise and hosts Watch What Happens Live on the network, slammed Drescher's claims on his Instagram story.


"I mean, this article is so dumb," Cohen said. "It's a lot of quotes from Aviva complaining about the show, basically."

Photo Credit: Bravo