Sonja Morgan: I Did Real Housewives of New York for the Money

Sonja Morgan attends the Rusk Hair Care Being Sexy new collection preview on December 15, 2011 in New York City.  Cindy Ord/Getty

Sonja Morgan wasn't so sure about the whole "reality television" thing when Bravo initially approached her about joining Real Housewives of New York.

When the network was first looking to start up a Big Apple-based version of its hit show, Morgan — who was married to John Adams Morgan, the great-grandson of J.P. Morgan, for ten years — seemed like a natural fit for the franchise.

At that point, though, Morgan says she wasn't quite ready to let cameras chronicle her every move.

"Reality TV was first starting out," Morgan explains to Lifestyle Mirror magazine about her decision to turn producers down. "I didn't know if it was going to be a cross between Jerry Springer and Desperate Housewives."

Her 2006 split from her then-husband changed everything, and by the time Season 3 of RHONY rolled around in 2010, Morgan says she was finally ready to give it a shot — for the sake of her daughter.

"I knew at that point my divorce settlement wasn't coming," the Upper East Sider says, citing the $6 million property she resides in with her daughter Quincy. "I needed to support myself and my daughter in our townhouse."

Adds Morgan, "I never imagined being a single mom. Never. But you're a mother, you do what you have to do, and the kids come first."

Once she started filming for the series, Morgan was more than happy to embrace her role as the optimistic, free-spirited partygirl. "You're you, but your amplified by ten," she says of her on-screen persona. Still, "if you sign up for reality TV, you have to be yourself," she explains. "People want to see how real people live [on reality shows]. It makes people feel like they're not alone in the world."

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