The RHONY veteran brought Tinsley, 41, under her wing during filming and revealed her past did not influence their friendship.
"I invited her to live with me… she's an old friend. She's great," Sonja told Life & Style exclusively at the premiere party at Attic Rooftop in NYC. "I'm 10 years older than her so we have this sister-like relationship like I do with Ramona [Singer]. We have a trust-level, so we give s–t to each other all day long."
Sonja and Tinsley with Dorinda Medley and Carole
As for what fans can expect from the duo this season, Sonja kept it simple: "You'll see the dynamic, it's funny."
Tinsley comes onto the reality series with a little bit of baggage. In 2016, she was arrested for trespassing on her ex-boyfriend's property. In a sneak peek, her fellow housewives share their concerns about her reputation.
"She was a major, major socialite. Always photographed, always in the front row," Ramona tells Bethenny Frankel and Carole Radziwill of her incident. "I Googled it, and they had a bad co-dependent relationship… I read."
Bethenny added, "She had the whole world at her fingertips and she kind of crashed and burned."
As for Tinsley, she revealed it was hitting rock bottom that inspired her to join the Big Apple crew.
"I feel like after something like getting a mug shot and having it plastered all over every paper and all over the Internet, I felt like I hit rock bottom a little bit, so I just felt like there was no hesitation to join the show," she told Bravo. "It’s like, ‘What could go wrong at this point in my life?’ Like, I’ve been arrested, I was in jail for three hours, I think now this is fine. I think I can handle the Real Housewives."
She continued, "I was just so happy to be back in New York and getting to know new girls in New York too and having another group of friends, it’s been great.”
The Real Housewives of New York airs Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. EST on Bravo!