The two women sat front row at the Garo Sparo Atelier show on Tuesday, alongside costars Luann de Lesseps and Ramona Singer, recording their reactions on social media. In one since-deleted Instagram Story on Sonja's page, the women were heard talking about transgender model Yasmine Petty.
"Well, with a body like that, it's a guy, that's a guy," said Medley. Added Morgan, "Yeah, with a body like that it's a guy, you're absolutely right."
After Petty herself said the women's comments were "hurtful" and "damaging," a rep for Sonja told TooFab, "Sonja has been one of the strongest and longest term supporters of the LGBTQ+ community, even before 'RHONY,' in the '80s. Anyone who knows Sonja knows she loves to joke around and would never say anything against the LGBTQ+ [community]. Sonja has always considered herself a member of the community."
"If anything, she was probably being complimentary of the model's figure regardless of their gender!" the rep added. "In fact, her fashion show on Sept. 13 is all=inclusive as well. Sonja will continue to support the LGBTQ+ community as she always has and wishes Garo nothing but the best in his career and is happy to lend her support as a fellow designer."
"We have a history as long-standing supporters of the LGBTQ community in many ways and apologize for our offensive comments at the fashion show," they said.
Before the apology, Petty had made a lengthy statement of her own: "As a transgender woman, I've never thought of myself as a model. But I have always tried to fully embrace who I am in whatever I do. Sometimes that requires being vulnerable and brave. I was excited to model in a runway show for Garo Sparo at New York Fashion Week, an artist who celebrates diversity and authenticity."
"During that show, as I walked down the catwalk with my head held high in who I am, a few women in the front row (who we've all seen on television) spoke hurtful, damaging comments, saying, 'With a body like that, it's a guy.' In fact, that very moment was captured on social media and shared with the world."
"People don't get to choose their sexual orientation or gender identity," the model continued. "What people do get to choose though is projecting rude and cruel behavior toward other people over for things they have no control over. Don't worry about me, I'll be fine. But we as a society, must do better."
She concluded: "People in positions of influence and power must do better. And to any trans woman out there feeling inadequate as a woman, keep strutting honey."