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Andy Cohen Enlists Crisis Comms Guru Who Repped Johnny Depp, Harvey Weinstein

Bravo
Bravo

Facing legal action from current and former Real Housewives cast members, who have recently accused him of sexual harassment and doing cocaine with Bravo stars, Andy Cohen has enlisted the aid of top crisis communications expert Matthew Hiltzik, The Daily Beast can confirm.

When reached for comment on RHONY star Leah McSweeney’s lawsuit against Cohen, a member of NBCUniversal Television’s comms team referred The Daily Beast to Hiltzik, describing him as “the rep for Andy.”

Last week, conflicting sources told the New York Post that Cohen had hired a crisis PR team, while another person insisted that Cohen had no “formal agreement” with any firm. A source close to the situation told The Daily Beast that Cohen brought Hiltzik on board after McSweeney’s lawsuit was filed in late February.

PR guru Hiltzik boasts a long client list that includes Ivanka Trump, Alec Baldwin and Ryan Lochte. He even worked with Hillary Clinton when she successfully ran for U.S. Senate in 2000.

RHONY Star Says Andy Cohen, Bravo Discriminated Against Her

Hiltzik is also well known for representing powerful men at the center of dark scandals.

In 2017, Hiltzik’s (unpaid) expertise was sought by Harvey Weinstein leading up to the publication of the New Yorker and New York Times stories that detailed the disgraced producer’s sexual misconduct, Vanity Fair reported.

Hiltzik began his PR career at Weinstein’s Miramax, which he left in 2005, but not before he acted as Weinstein’s “spokesman” in a 2004 meeting with then-Times executive editor Bill Keller, The Wrap founder Sharon Waxman revealed in 2017. Waxman believes that conversation led to her Times investigation into Weinstein getting “stripped of any reference to sexual favors or coercion” by the movie mogul before publication.

More recently, Hiltzik was tasked with reshaping Johnny Depp’s image in the aftermath of the hyper-publicized defamation trial in which Depp took on his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, who had accused him of abusing her throughout their relationship. A jury ultimately ruled that Heard had defamed the Pirates of the Caribbean star.

On Thursday, The Daily Beast obtained a copy of a letter from Cohen’s lawyers to McSweeney’s team that denied any wrongdoing on his part and denounced the “false, offensive, and defamatory statements” contained within the reality star’s lawsuit.

“The claims against Andy are completely false,” a representative for Cohen reiterated to The Daily Beast.

Andy Cohen’s Lawyers Rip ‘Baseless’ Cocaine Allegations

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