'RHONY's Sonja Morgan Breaks Down Dorinda Medley's Issues With Tinsley Mortimer (Exclusive)

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Don't call Dorinda Medley "the villain."

"My girl, Dorinda, she's getting a bad rap," The Real Housewives of New York City star Sonja Morgan tells ET. "I think she gets viewed as the villain every season because she always, she runs hot and, you know, nobody is safe when you’re in a room with Dorinda. She lets her clips go off -- Clip! Clip! -- and starts saying things, like, she told me my vagina was the Holland Tunnel ... you just never know."

"Dorinda will be Dorinda," she notes. "[She and I] just put it out there and move on and I particularly love that about Dorinda. I don’t like to be led down the mystery trail. I like to know where someone stands, and I’m particularly fond of makeup sex, so... let’s get back to Dorinda, since I’m not gonna have makeup sex with her, but you know, it’s like, just let me know where you stand -- and I like the heat -- and then move on. I feel closer after that."

Dorinda's viper-tongued ways have been on fine display a lot already this season, just two episodes into the Bravo hit. So far, she's mostly been zoned in on Tinsley Mortimer, who joined the series in season nine by way of Sonja, who took Tinsley in as she returned to the city after living in Palm Beach, Florida; she returned to NYC after a very public arrest.

"I've known Tinsley forever, so I know how she is. She's more of a man's girl and we’re, like, girls' girls," Sonja explains. "So, you know, when you’re a group of girls going through a lot of ups and downs, you need to be able to count on each other and to have a commitment to each other, and we didn’t feel like that with Tinsley."

"I know that Dorinda will rip you a new one when she feels that, and I know it’s taken her two years to wake up and smell [it]," she adds.

Ramona Singer, Tinsley Mortimer and Dorinda Medley of 'The Real Housewives of New York City.'
Heidi Gutman / Bravo

Sonja alleges, from day one, Tinsley has not been upfront about her priorities with the women.

"From the beginning, when Tinsley came on, I said, 'I thought you would be living with me and get your brand going again' and Tinsley herself said, ‘I like to get a guy, the stability first with a man and then work on my businesses,’ she told that to Ramona [Singer]," Sonja says. "I don’t think anyone has a problem with that. It looks like Dorinda has a problem with that. What Dorinda has a problem with is that Tinsley wasn’t honest about it."

"She was bulls**ting," she continues. "Instead of saying, ‘I’m shacking up with Sonja, because I wanna meet a guy, and then I’ll do my hair and makeup and then go out to parties and represent my brand and stuff,’ you know, she wasn’t upfront with Dorinda. She kind of keeps all that stuff secret until it works out, which works for Tinsley, but is rough on a friendship, and I know that about Tins."

"It doesn't make Tinsley a bad person," Sonja adds. “It makes it annoying for new friends who don’t get it and they feel used. So, that's why Dorinda felt hurt."

Still, some of Dorinda's criticism of Tinsley seems undue, like her constantly claiming that Tinsley's life is financially supported by her on-again, off-again beau (now fiance) Scott Kluth, when Tinsley, herself, comes from money and has had her own businesses. But Sonja doubles down on Dorinda’s claims.

"Scott is paying and I've said that from the beginning," she says. "My main concern is to see how it goes with Scott. So far, so good I believe. You know, we always complain we never hear from Tinsley unless she needs something."

Sonja hints that the overall pattern with Tinsley continues this year, as she apparently kept her reunion with Scott a secret for as long as possible. After their engagement, she apparently went even more radio silent on her co-stars, moving from New York City to Chicago, Scott’s home base.

"[I’m] very happy for Tinsley, by the way, that it turned out that Scott did propose to her and did ask her to come to Chicago to share his crib in Chi town, you know, loaded with bling and all those things that Tinsley adores in her life, how it should be in the world of Tinsley," Sonja offers.

Sonja says the cast largely doesn't hear from Tinsley when they're not filming, especially now that the world has basically shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sonja says the rest of the cast -- Dorinda, Ramona, Luann de Lesseps and newcomer Leah McSweeney -- are having regular chats and keeping each other in the loop.

"I think about Luann not being able to do her cabaret and all those people who are suffering out there, 700 to 1,000 people every night, missing Luann's cabaret, every day,” she admits, a little sarcastically.

ET spoke with Sonja via video chat from the spa in California where she says she’s "trapped." The RHONY star was on a post-filming wellness retreat when the “safer at home” order was put in place, and has chosen to stick out her self-isolation at the resort, because she believes California to be safer than New York. She says she’s gone weeks without a solid meal (she’s juicing) or a solid… well, lay.

"I was just talking to Luann about catching a d**k, what about myself?" she remarks. "I’m thinking, if you don’t use it, you lose it, you know?"

"It's been a sporadic minute," she elaborates. "I have my Netflix and Chill guy. I was worried about some health issues, like, why am I so tooty and a little fruity? And then I was like, why do I have inflammation?"

As well-documented so far in season 12, Sonja has been dealing with some gas issues, something she hopes her wellness retreat corrects.

"I'm like, wow, is this leftover from Cartagena, you know, parasites?" she asks, referencing the season 10 cast trip to Colombia, which ended with most of the ladies experiencing explosive diarrhea.

"I don’t know what it was, I don’t want to go back to diapers," she says. "I want to see Ramona in diapers before me, you know? I just really, really don’t want that again. So, that’s why I came out here to figure out what it is."

When she's not juicing, Sonja says she’s working on her fashion-lifestyle empire, taking calls and virtual meetings about the future of her brand. Her Sonja Morgan New York Collection is now carried in Century21 department stores, and she hopes to revisit her much talked-about, but never produced toaster oven once everyone returns to normal life.

"My No. 2 search item is, you know, 'toaster ovens and Sonja Morgan,'" she notes. "You know, I had Ramona saying I was gonna lose my house and all those things, ‘Oh, what a lovely toaster oven that was...' I mean, come on, girls, they gave me such a hard time."

"I felt it was a liability to do it on my own when I first had it," she adds. "But now, I’m with Century21, I have a dream to carry it there."

Sonja also shares that the hardest part of this whole ordeal has been being separated from her 19-year-old daughter, Quincy. Viewers will see Sonja deal with her daughter going off to college in season 12, though Quincy will not appear on the show.

Sonja Morgan and her daughter, Quincy Morgan.
Paul Bruinooge / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

"My daughter is a beauty and she’s been asked to model and she has a very dry sense of humor, so she’s quite funny, but the fact is she’s a scholar. She’s a straight-A student and she’s been so since kindergarten, so we’re not rocking the boat," Sonja says. "It’s just not a fit right now. We have a responsibility to the family and her legacy right now."

"She’s doing things that Bravo has let possible for us, and we’re grateful for the fact that I can be independent and raise her and put her through college on my own, but at the same time, we respectfully say no the opportunity to have her on television at this minute."

The Real Housewives of New York City airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.

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