For nearly 10 years, Sonja Morgan has been the heart, soul, and comic relief of The Real Housewives of New York City, which just wrapped up its 11th season on Bravo. For two nights this weekend (one in Beverly, one in Barnstable) she’ll be joined by Teresa Giudice and Margaret Josephs of The Real Housewives of New Jersey for an intimate conversation with moderator Tricia Leigh Fisher, a question and answer session with the audience, and—for those with VIP tickets—a champagne toast and a meet and greet.
I love you so much on the show. Over the years, no matter what’s going on, you’re always just Sonja. There’s never a disingenuous moment with you.
[laughs] Just Sonja! Thank you, I think that’s been my saving grace on the show. I trust the reality TV gods, and my viewers have been so supportive of me. If you look at my social media, I get nothing but love from [them]. They’ve been through my ups and downs—I’m far from perfect—I was all over the place during my divorce and financial comeback. I feel like the young girls and their moms who are my age and the LGBT community—many of them are very creative and been through a lot of strife—they’ve just been the wind beneath my sails. They’ve been so there for me and I feel that I’ve inspired them so that keeps me going. It’s been a crazy ride.
I hate the phrase “good place,” but you really seem to be in a good place. In many ways, this season you were the most stable one.
I’m in a really good place. I’ve been able to flex my creative muscles with my fashion and my charities are in full force—animals and artists and children and LGBT. Bravo’s been good to me, so I couldn’t be happier right now.
Has there ever been talk of a superstar housewives season? There are people I need to see together, like you and Lisa Rinna, for example. I need to see that happen.
We were dancing together with Cynthia Bailey at Andy Cohen’s baby shower! Well, we hear that all the time. To match our filming schedules would be impossible because we alternate when we’re filming.
You and Teresa have more in common than I first realized in terms of rising from the ashes. It’s been amazing to see both of you come back stronger than ever. People say, “There’s nothing real about the housewives.” But that isn’t true.
Oh, you’re too smart for that. The New York housewives are all really friends. Just take me and Ramona [Singer] for instance—we can go at it with each other but if someone says something to her about me off camera, she’s going to level you. And me, too. LuAnn [de Lesseps], I can say what I want to her but we have each other’s back all the time. Bethenny [Frankel] has been a fierce, fierce supporter and protector—she doesn’t want to see me get screwed over again, let’s say. She’s been a mentor of mine—to a lot of us girls on the show—and we do go to her for advice. New Jersey is very close—they’re all good friends and family and there’s no getting away from that. That’s some real glue right there. So you’re right about that.
You look incredible. You have stayed virtually the same since the beginning. My friend and I always use your line: “Do I have trout mouth?”
Do I have trout mouth! [laughs] Or, “Who’s that bitch? I hate her. Oh, that’s me!” No, you can surprise yourself. I don’t know how I do it! I say that to my interns when I’m dressing. I always tell people you have to compartmentalize and stay in the moment. That’s it.
I must know: Is LuAnn going to be in Chicago or not?
I don’t know. That’s the first I heard of it at the reunion. If they were in talks to do it then she never should have said it until it’s stone. Bethenny taught me that. Everybody was waiting for the damn toaster oven and then [my partner] retired. We don’t know. I don’t know. She probably doesn’t know. We do know that the cabaret is fabulous, and we know that her signature necklaces are fabulous. What we also know is that she treated us terribly. She’s just been protecting her own health and sobriety and it excluded us, but we still got mad and we let her know.
There was a period this season where Ramona also excluded you from certain events. What’s that about? I felt bad for you.
I was upset. That’s Ramona being Ramona but it still upset me because I’m always there for her. If you remember the early seasons when I first came on, I was there to save her butt every time. For her to just say, “I don’t need Sonja for my lifetime events or my social climbing into my 70s,” I feel like she left me in the dust. She would be disingenuous because she would be like, “Oh, you and me will be together forever,” like at the circus with Tinsley [Mortimer], and then she would take off to meet some guy. She wants to meet a guy, so she’ll leave you in the dust and then she’ll Ramonasize her way back into your life. It’s all about her, just let it go.
When she was freshly divorced it made sense that she was going on several dates per night, but it’s been a couple of years now and the obsession with the dating is weird
Oh! And remember when she came over to my house and said, “I don’t want to associate with you anymore, I’m dating now.” I was like, are you kidding? You should associate with me because your dating on your own is not a great look. I mean, I’m the next best thing to the Good Housekeeping seal of approval for her. I mean, who is she fooling? You know, she has insulted me over the years since she has been struggling to find her place since her divorce. She hasn’t treated me like the best friend I’ve been to her, but that doesn’t change that we love each other and that we’re like sisters.
So what are these speaking events like?
We do a question and answer with our moderator and we have questions from the audience –which are always the best ones—and then we do a little step and repeat with the VIPs and they get a little champagne. It’s great. It’s the next best thing to tweeting at night.
I’m sure the fans want to know the dirt, but what kind of questions do you get? Is this really more about careers and motherhood than gossip?
It’s more that. You’d be surprised. The people that come to see us want to talk about us and our lives and how we navigate motherhood and how we make our comebacks. Like Teresa [Giudice], particularly, she just came back from camp and she’s raising four children; and me, I had a Chapter 11 [bankruptcy] and reinvented myself after my divorce. The young girls want to know how to firmly plant their businesses and avoid the mistakes we’ve made, and their moms are with them and the moms want to have an open dialogue about dating and sexuality and Instagram. That’s why these things are so great. And I have a pretty good following in Boston. I notice when I travel there, lots of likes.
AN EVENING WITH THE CELEBRITY HOUSEWIVES. 8.10 AT BARNSTABLE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, 744 W MAIN ST., HYANNIS. CAPELIVESHOWS.COM. 8.11 AT NORTH SHORE MUSIC THEATRE, 62 DUNHAM RD., BEVERLY. NSMT.ORG. FOR SONJA MORGAN: SONJABYSONJAMORGAN.COM & SONJAMORGANONLINE.COM.