Of all the real housewives in the entire franchise, few have been more defined by their divorce than Sonja Morgan. Though her ex-husband, banking dynasty John Adams Morgan, never appeared in The Real Housewives of New York City, Sonja’s past life as Lady Morgan hangs like a dark cloud over her Upper East Side townhouse. Since joining the series in 2010, Morgan’s story from riches to rags follows various attempts at financial recovery, each more bewildering than the last: film production, an event planning company, liquor and clothing lines, a Nigerian soccer team, Caburlesque, and last but not least, a long-abandoned toaster. In addition, she has had many meltdowns as she recalls the glitz and glamor of her past marriage, which she is often accused of reflecting on. You don’t touch the Morgan letters!
Given Morgan’s mixed success in getting her business ventures off the ground, viewers might be curious as to how much she got in her divorce. Despite her bankruptcy in 2010 and some eccentricities like brown fridge ice and washing her face in the bidet, she’s still managed to perform in the lifestyle department with co-stars Luann de Lesseps and Ramona Singer. But how does she do it and how much does she owe her ex-husband?
The divorce from Sonja Morgan left her dry
At first glance, Sonja Morgan looks like a bandit after their separation in 2006. The public divorce settlement between her and ex-husband John Adams Morgan revealed she was awarded a whopping $3 million lump sum, according to Case Text. Meanwhile, other housewives in similar positions have received far less: Shereé Whitfield of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” which fits the divorced and rebuilding archetype of that series, made just $1 million on her split from NFL player Bob Whitfield . The Morgans’ divorce settlement also states that Sonja would receive $12,500 a month in child support for their daughter Quincy, which works out to $150,000 a year.
Just looking at the official court document, one might be confused about Morgan’s post-divorce financial status — she’s notoriously frugal on the show, lives mostly in the same townhouse, and employs unpaid interns over the course of its 11 featured seasons, and it would It makes no sense for the money to dry up so quickly. As it turns out, she never actually received it: when John Adams Morgan was asked to pay the $3 million lump sum, he claimed he was “penniless” and unable to do so, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute. To make matters worse, Sonja invested in a John Travolta film and then withdrew, resulting in millions in debt, bankruptcy and even a lawsuit. Thankfully, she’s finally on the right track, with her financial and legal woes long behind her.
Today, Sonja Morgan has several sources of income
It’s equally stressful and entertaining to watch over the years how bittersweet it is to know that Sonja Morgan’s financial woes are finally over. In 2019, she revealed on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen that she’s in a better place today. “I have an 18-year-old to put through college … but I’m out of my Chapter 11 reorganization, which means I’ve paid 100% for the dollar,” she explained. Although Morgan never got the divorce settlement she wanted, she managed to stay afloat by other means.
While many real-life housewives would still be wealthy without appearing on television, Morgan seems to fall into the category of using the show’s salary as its primary source of income. As of 2022, she’s reportedly worth $8 million and is getting paid $465,000 per season of “The Real Housewives of New York City” (per Celebrity Net Worth). Although the show’s structure was frozen after its polarizing season 13, Morgan is currently filming a spin-off with co-star Luann de Lesseps and appears to be a shoo-in for the upcoming RHONY: Legacy series. Even if her participation doesn’t work out, she seems to be doing better than ever.
In addition to “RHONY,” Morgan charges $99 per order at Cameo, and has finally managed to launch that “international fashion lifestyle brand” that she once boasted: A look at her linktree reveals a line of sangria, a shoe collection and even a standup comedy tour. Don’t hold your breath for the toaster oven though!