Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker may have played best friends Carrie Bradshaw and Samantha Jones on screen, but the reality could not have been more different.
The Sex and the City stars have traded barbs and hit out publicly at one another for decades, with the rift reportedly starting during the second series of the hit show back in 1999.
And while Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis are reprising their roles as Miranda Hobbes and Charlotte York respectively in a new reboot, Kim has distanced herself from the franchise with no kind words to say.
Evidence of a rift first emerged back in 2004, when Kim appeared on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.
She told Jonathan the series originally ended due to a dispute over pay.
“I felt after six years it was time for all of us to participate in the financial windfall of Sex and the City,” she said.
“When they didn’t seem keen on that I thought it was time to move on.”
The Telegraph then reported that tensions had sparked between Kim and Sarah over pay, when Sarah’s pay was bumped up to a reported £220million in series two, because she had become an executive producer on the show.
This allegedly prompted Kim to negotiate a higher salary for herself – and this did not go down well with the rest of the cast.
The publication claimed Kim’s fellow leading ladies “wouldn’t even sit with her at mealtimes”.
This was only bolstered at the 2004 Emmys where Kristin, Cynthia, and Sarah all sat together, but Kim, who turns 65 on Saturday, sat by herself.
Page Six reported how, during a location shoot: “Sarah Jessica rented a house for herself, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon.
“Kim was left out on her own.”
But a spokesperson for HBO said: “Kim stayed in a different house because she was married at the time, and her husband was supposed to come.”
Grilled on these events, Kim told The Telegraph: “Are we the best of friends? No. We’re professional actresses. We have our own separate lives.”
But Sarah, interviewed in the same report, appeared to feel differently, admitting she missed Kim, who was said to have delayed filming for the Sex and the City movie over a row over pay.
“Honestly, we are all friends and I wish I saw more of Kim,” she said.
“She mentioned money and no one should vilify her for it. People made a decision that we had vilified her.”
But Kim disputed the claim she had delayed filming due to money.
“Four years ago I was going through a painful public divorce, the series was coming to an end, and my father was diagnosed with dementia,” she told Marie Claire.
“I felt it was time to be with my real family. A year-and-a-half ago, when I was sent the script, I was ready and strong enough to revisit Samantha. In some ways, I’m glad we waited.
“The script and the experience of making the movie was the best possible reunion.”
But while the film was being shot, it was reported in the New York Post that Kim and Sarah were not speaking to each other, and it was “making everyone uncomfortable”.
Sarah would once again deny this, telling ELLE: “I don’t think anybody wants to believe that I love Kim. I adore her.
“I wouldn’t have done the movie without her. Didn’t and wouldn’t.”
Kim then made a rare remark that indicated the hatchet had been buried between the two women.
“People don’t want to believe that we get on. They have too much invested in the idea of two strong, successful women fighting with each other,” she told the Daily Mail.
“It makes for juicy gossip and copy. The truth of us being friends and getting along and happily doing our jobs together is nowhere near as newsworthy. I think Sarah is fantastic.
“She is a born leader and she guides the crew and the cast in such a strong but gentle way. She and I are sick of this. It’s exhausting talking about it, and a real bore.”
In a joint interview between all four leading ladies with Marie Claire., Sarah hinted that sometimes “feelings get hurt” on set.
Cynthia remarked: “It hasn’t always been smooth sailing, but the idea that we’re somehow adversarial is ludicrous.”
Kim agreed: “Things just have to be explosive for no other reason than for people’s imaginations.”
Years later, Sarah would also tell Howard Stern: “Was every day perfect? No.
“But this is a family of people who needed each other. This sort of narrative, this ongoing catfight…it used to really confound me and really upset me.”
But in 2017, the Daily Mail reported the third Sex and the City film had been scrapped due to demands Kim was making.
The publication reported Kim had insisted Warner Bros, who produce the films, produce other films she had in the works first – otherwise she would not reprise her role as Samatha.
“Warner Bros. refused to meet her demands and had to cancel production as the company decided it wouldn’t be fair to fans to produce a movie with only three of the four main characters,” it was alleged.
Sex And The City)
Kristin appeared to confirm this, tweeting: “It is true that we are not going to be able to make a 3rd film. I wish that we could have made the final chapter, on our own terms, to complete the stories of our characters.
“It is deeply frustrating not to able to share that chapter (beautifully written by MPK) with all of you.”
But Kim told Piers Morgan on Life Stories that she had rejected the proposal for the film back in 2016 and only because she wanted to leave Samantha in the past.
“The answer was simply, ‘Thank you, but no, I’m good,'” she said.
“This isn’t about more money. It’s not about more scenes. It’s not about any of those things. This is about a clear decision, an empowered decision in my life to end one chapter and start another.
“It’s a great part. I played it past the finish line and then some, and I loved it.”
During the bombshell interview, Kim would go on to claim she was “never friends” with her fellow cast members.
ITV Picture Desk)
She said she had no idea when she last spoke to her co-stars, and claimed no one had reached out when the reports began circulating about her holding up the film.
“Nobody ever picks up the phone and tries to contact you and say, ‘How you doing?’ That would have been the way to handle it,” she said
“This is, it feels like, a toxic relationship.”
Kim specifically called out Sarah for her behaviour.
“This is really where I take to task the people from Sex and the City, and specifically Sarah Jessica Parker,” she told Piers.
“I think she could’ve been nicer. I really think she could’ve been nicer. I don’t know what her issue is.”
And speaking to The Observer Magazine, she went a step further, claiming she felt she was under attack and “bullied” when she refused to to do a third film.
“I went past the finish line playing Samantha Jones because I loved Sex and the City,” she explained.
“It was a blessing in so many ways but after the second movie I’d had enough.
“I couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t just replace me with another actress instead of wasting time bullying. No means no.”
Asked by Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live how she felt hearing those words from Kim, Sarah revealed she was “heartbroken”.
“The whole week…I was really, I found it very upsetting because that’s not the way I recall our experience,” she said.
She also told PEOPLE: “I couldn’t imagine anyone else playing that part. So there was no fight; it was completely fabricated because I actually never responded.
“And I won’t, because she needed to say what she needed to say, and that is her privilege.”
But the feud would come to blows in a devastating way following the death of Kim’s 55-year-old brother, Chris, who took his own life in 2018.
Sarah wrote on Kim’s Instagram page: “Dearest Kim, my love and condolences to you and yours and Godspeed to your beloved brother. Xx.”
Explaining her decision to comment publicly, Sarah told Entertainment Tonight: “If somebody in your life, whether you’re in touch with them or not, [is] suffering for any reason, it’s involuntary that you want to convey condolences or sadness or just let someone know you’re thinking about them.”
A source also told PEOPLE that when Kim’s brother was announced as missing, Sarah had privately called and texted her.
But a furious Kim accused Sarah of “exploiting” her brother’s death for her own personal gain.
She wrote: “My Mom asked me today ‘When will that @sarahjessicaparker, that hypocrite, leave you alone?’ Your continuous reaching out is a painful reminder of how cruel you really were then and now.
“Let me make this VERY clear. (If I haven’t already) You are not my family. You are not my friend. So I’m writing to tell you one last time to stop exploiting our tragedy in order to restore your ‘nice girl’ persona.”
One source close to Sarah told US Weekly they were “not sure why Kim had to take it to this level.”
Another source told the publication the two women “hated each other” and had been “at odds” ever since the second series of SATC.
“Their co-stars can’t understand why Kim lashed out. It wasn’t this bad during filming,” added another source close to Kim.
While a source close to Sarah also told the publication: “There’s no love there, but Sarah Jessica was just being polite. It’s sad.”
During an interview with The Guardian in 2019, Kim said that after the second SATC film, she had simply “had enough”.
“I don’t want to be in a situation for even an hour where I’m not enjoying myself,” she added.
And last year, Kim seemed keen to leave the bitter rift in the past.
She declined to comment further on the feud, telling the LA Times: “Everything is on Google, so I encourage you to Google it, about anything that I’ve said. I feel that that was then, and when I look at what’s going on around me, I just don’t have any regrets.”
Meanwhile, in January 2021, Kristin, Cynthia and Sarah confirmed a new 10-episode HBO Max revival is in the works—without Kim.
Kim has not commented publicly on the new series, but Sarah addressed her absence in an Instagram comment.
A fan had written: “Happy to see you back but will miss Kim/Samantha.”
Sarah replied: “We will too. We loved her so. X.”
And when another fan asked if the two actresses were still warring, Sarah said no.
“I don’t dislike her. I’ve never said that. Never would,” she wrote.
“Samantha isn’t part of this story. But she will always be part of us. No matter where we are or what we do.”
But Kim seemingly could not resist one more jab.
Sarah shared a photo of newest cast member Nicole Ari Parker hugging the other two leading ladies in the reboot.
“Oh so fine. I’d sing along to 70s love songs with this trio deep into any night. @justlikethatmax I’ll see you ladies tomorrow!” she wrote.
The very next day, Kim posted a photo with a dog named Pixel, her co-star in her current TV series, Sensitive Skin.
“When your co-star is a real dog,” wrote Kim, with many fans commenting wondering if this was “shade”, comparing the SATC casts to “dogs”.
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