Sex and the City just celebrated its 25-year anniversary, but fans all over the world still wonder what really happened off-screen between Kim Cattrall and SJP. Let's take a closer look at the infamous feud.
Sex and the City
We know them, and we love them; they are the girls that raised us; they are Samantha Jones, Carrie Bradshaw, Miranda Hobbes, and Charlotte York. Six seasons of love, heartbreak, sex, and the city, and we will forever be grateful.
Despite looking like best friends on TV, rumors started circulating around the time the series ended that the famous foursome was actually more of a threesome off camera. To everyone's disbelief, the ladies of Manhattan were never really as close as we all thought. So what was really happening when the cameras weren't rolling?
It’s All Over
Six seasons and 94 episodes later, Sex and the City came to an end. Millions of fans worldwide were heartbroken by the sudden news, wondering what could have happened. As it turned out, one of the four ladies, Kim Cattrall, aka Samantha Jones, had a lot to say about it.
"I felt after six years, it was time for all of us to participate in the financial windfall of Sex and the City. When they didn't seem keen on that, I thought it was time to move on," she said on Friday Night With Jonathon Ross. However, it didn't sound like the cast members all agreed with Cattrall…
Money, Money, Money
A few years after the show's sixth season had come to an end, and there was no talk about a movie in the making, a shocking report in The Telegraph released information regarding one of the reasons Cattrall decided to step back from the beloved HBO show.
Apparently, Cattrall was at wit's end when it came down to their inconsistent salaries, specifically between her and Sarah Jessica Parker. During season two, SJP was given an executive producer title, which in return increased her salary to $300,000, causing Kim to negotiate her salary. And well, it didn't go too well…
Cattrall vs. Everybody
Apparently, Kim Cattrall's attitude over her pay raise was not appreciated by the other girls, and that was just the beginning of their fallout. Crew members recalled that they "wouldn't even sit with [Cattrall] at mealtimes," according to The Telegraph article.
The report also looked at the 2004 Emmy Awards, where Nixon, Parker, and Davis all sat together while Cattrall sat separately. In response to the situation, Cattrall said, "Are we the best of friends? No. We're professional actresses. We have our own separate lives."
Sex and the City the Movie
And just like that, the first Sex and the City movie was announced four years after the series finished, but people couldn't help but wonder, what took so long? Rumor had it that the project had taken longer than expected to get started due to Cattrall's financial demands. However, Kim later cleared up the air for us all.
She told Marie Claire at the time the series ended, she was going through a divorce, and her father was diagnosed with dementia, resulting in her spending time with her "real family." So, she needed time to feel "strong enough to revisit Samantha," explaining she was "glad we waited" and that it was "the best possible reunion."
SJP Speaks Out
Let's just say the rumors were flying. Of course, there was no real way of knowing what was really happening on set, but we do know that Cattrall was bringing out her inner Samantha Jones by breaking out her inner publicist explaining to the world that there is a bond between her and the franchise she is willing to work through.
But we never knew what was real and what was for the cameras. Parker stood up for Cattrall amid the rumors, saying, "She mentioned money, and no one should vilify her for it. People made a decision that we had vilified her." But the world had made up its mind. It was Kim Cattrall versus everyone else, specifically SJP.
The Second Movie
Two years later, Sex and the City 2 was on its way. An article from the New York Post was released in 2009 stating that Parker and Cattrall were officially no longer on speaking terms, "making everyone on the set of the new Sex and the City movie uncomfortable." What to believe?!
Upon the release of the second movie in 2010, ELLE asked Parker about the rumors surrounding her co-star's feelings towards her and the rest of the cast. "I don't think anybody wants to believe that I love Kim," she said. "I adore her. I wouldn't have done the movie without her. Didn't and wouldn't."
Kim and Sarah's Complicated Relationship
Most of the time, the rumors surrounding the show's drama was centered around these two. However, during an interview with the Daily Mail in 2010, Cattrall dispelled the rumors, explaining to the publication she believes "Sarah is fantastic" and a "born leader."
She also added they are both "sick" of the news cycle going after them. "I think Sarah was right: 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. It makes for juicy gossip and copy."
The Ongoing Drama
People often pushed for the feud narrative to create buzz, and year after year, the ladies of the city were asked about the alleged fight between Cattrall and the rest of the cast. Six years following the release of the series, SJP sat down with Time magazine to address the gossip around the supposed drama once again.
She said, "It was always so heartbreaking to me that there was this narrative about Kim and myself because it just didn't reflect anything that happened on that set. They just didn't do it to the Sopranos guys. It was so strange to me and upsetting."
Fans had kept hopes high regarding a third Sex and the City movie, despite the years of drama surrounding Cattrall and Parker. But in 2017, it was announced by Daily Mail the film was certainly not happening due to Cattrall's "outrageous demands."
Cattrall quickly responded to the allegations that she "torpedoed" the potential film, saying, "The only 'DEMAND' I ever made was that I didn't want to do a 3rd film…& that was back in 2016." This was the first time Cattrall openly shared she was ready to retire her character and not be a part of the SATC gang.
Saying Goodbye to Samantha Jones
The 66-year-old claimed she made it clear in 2016 that she would not reprise her role as Samantha Jones, as she was ready to move on and move forward. "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." She later admitted that she had difficulties with the potential script of the third movie as well.
Unfortunately, after Kim made it clear how she felt about playing Sam, the third film was canceled altogether. But how did the rest of the ladies feel? SJP told Extra TV she was "disappointed" they weren't able to go forward with the "beautiful, funny, heartbreaking, joyful, very relatable script and story" that was developed.
Kristin Davis also shared her thoughts on the subject, writing on her Instagram, "I wish that we could have made the final chapter, on our own terms, to complete the stories of our characters." So, it sounds like Parker wasn't alone in her thoughts…
The Explosive Interview That Changed It All
Before each movie, Cattrall had been made to look like the "villain" having to delay production due to her "outrageous demands," and at one point, the actress had just had enough. So, in 2017, Kim Catrall decided to tell her side of the story after appearing on Piers Morgan's Life Stories.
The actress went off about her experience on the show, specifically about working with SJP. "This is really where I take to task the people from Sex and the City, and specifically Sarah Jessica Parker," she told Morgan. "I think she could've been nicer. I really think she could've been nicer. I don't know what her issue is."
Oh, and it didn't end there. Cattrall went after the other women from the cast, calling them "toxic" and saying that their "common ground that we had was the series and the series is over." Kim explained that they had "never been friends" and they were just "colleagues."
Kim told Morgan that she didn't even remember the last time she spoke to her former castmates, adding no one calls her anymore. She added, "I've moved on; this is what my 60s are about; they're about me making decisions for me, not my career, for me. And that feels frickin' fantastic."
So Many Questions
After Cattrall's shocking interview with Morgan, audiences everywhere were utterly taken aback by her choice of words, specifically against SJP. The girls had such a tight connection on-screen; we were sure they shared that same energy off-screen as well, but boy, were we wrong.
Samantha Jones once said, "We made a deal ages ago. Men, babies, doesn't matter, We're soul mates," and honestly, we thought that same sentiment translated into real life. However, the moment Cattrall revealed her true thoughts on her castmates, we had no choice but to wonder, what does SJP think?
Parker didn't comment on the situation initially, but on The Late Show, she joked that Stephen Colbert could fill in for Samantha. "According to just very recent documentation about why we're not making it is because the part usually played by Kim Cattrall has been vacated," Parker said."Perhaps you'd want to play Samantha?"
A week later, on the promotion tour for her show Divorce, Parker once again offered the role of Samantha Jones to Ellen DeGeneres on the talk show. "There's a period of grief, a mourning process, and then perhaps we'll be able to consider, say, for instance, you playing Samantha," Parker said. "I'll offer you the same opportunity."
In all actuality, SJP was actually "heartbroken" after hearing Cattrall's feelings towards her, the cast, and her time on the show. During an episode of Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, Parker explained to her friend that she "found it really upsetting" because "that's not the way I recall our experience."
"So…it's sad, but I'm kind of…I don't know, I always think that what ties us together is this singular experience is the thing," she added. "It was a professional experience, but it became personal because it was years and years of our lives. So I'm hoping that that sort of eclipses anything that's been recently spoken."
Kim's Brother Passes Away
Right after Parker appeared on Watch What Happens Live, Cattrall shared on social media that her brother suddenly passed away. SJP decided to comment on the subject, sending her condolences to her previous costar, but unfortunately, the kind sentiment didn't roll over well with Kim whatsoever.
"I can't begin to know how her family is managing such a loss," Parker told Extra at the time. "We all send her our love and condolences and grant her the privacy that she's asked for." However, Kim didn't take Parker's words well at all and, in fact, claimed it was completely insincere.
Cattrall Claps Back
Kim took to her Instagram and uploaded a post tagging SJP, writing, "I don't need your love or support at this tragic time." She captioned the post, "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." She then included a link to the New York Post story looking at the "mean girl culture" that eventually took down the show.
Two Sides of the Same Conversation
Following Cattrall's Instagram post, Parker discussed with People how she felt about the situation, claiming "there was no fight" and "it was completely fabricated because I actually never responded." SJP added that she won't respond to the comments either because she believes Kim said what she needed, calling it "her privilege."
Parker reiterated to Vulture months later that "there is no catfight" and "there never has been a catfight." The shoe designer made it clear that she will not talk negatively about her former costar, defending Kim's right to "share thoughts publicly." Is that taking the high road, or is that clever PR?
Jason Lewis Comments
Just after Parker (kind of) commented on the explosive Piers Morgan interview and social media catastrophe, another Sex and the City costar decided to chime in on the situation. Jason Lewis, who played Samantha's boyfriend, Smith Jerrod, was asked about the feud between the two stars in an interview with KTLA.
"Sarah was so always so lovely and such a consummate professional," Lewis said. "I think that people should remember their graciousness and the things that have been given to them. And I'm gonna stop there because I've got nothing good to say." Well, you've said it all, Smith Jerrod.
Enough is Enough
Despite the decades-old drama between SJP and Cattrall, we will always be grateful for Carrie Bradshaw and Samantha Jones. However, at one point, Kim explained that she was "past the finish line playing Samantha Jones" because she did love the show, calling her time on it a "blessing."
"However, after the second movie, I'd had enough," she told The Guardian. "I couldn't understand why they wouldn't just replace me with another actress instead of wasting time bullying. No means no." She also famously said, "I don't want to be in a situation for even an hour where I'm not enjoying myself."
And Just Like That...
And just like that, the news broke that Sex and the City would return with a sequel 17 years later, without Kim Cattrall. Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon were all on board to share the exciting news on their social media, but Cattrall was nowhere to be found.
Upon sharing the news of the show, SJP received multiple comments questioning Kim's absence. One user accused SJP of being the reason she didn't sign on, saying it was because "they dislike each other," to which Parker responded, "No. I don't dislike her," and that "Samantha isn't part of this story. But she will always be part of us."
So, Where's Samantha Jones?
But what would the world of Sex and the City look like without Samantha Jones? Davis explained on the Today show that Cattrall's absence would be explained on the show. "We love Samantha. Samantha is never not going to be a part in some way, right? So there is respect for Samantha. It's part of the story. We would never disrespect Samantha."
And after months of suspense, Samantha's absence was explained right away. In the show, Parker's character explains Jones set up her own PR firm in London after the two fell out when Carrie didn't want Samantha to be her publicist anymore. Jones then stopped returning anyone in the group's calls, and that was that.
Taking the Hint
Following the show's finale, Parker explained to The Hollywood Reporter that Cattrall was never asked to be a part of And Just Like That after making it "clear that wasn't something she wanted to pursue." She said, "It no longer felt comfortable for us, and so it didn't occur to us. That's not 'slamming' her, it's just learning."
Parker continued, "You've got to listen to somebody, and if they're publicly talking about something and it doesn't suggest it's someplace they want to be, or a person they want to play, or an environment in which they want to be, you get to an age where you're like: 'Well, we hear that.'" So, that's that.
However, the season finale of And Just Like That left the possibility that Samantha Jones could one day return after the last episode showed Carrie making a date with her ex-bff for drinks. However, when asked if she wanted Cattrall back on the show if she was willing, she openly said, "I don't think I would."
She told Variety, "There's just too much public history of feelings on her part that she's shared." The shows creator Michael Patrick King also shared his thoughts on the subject, saying, "Magically thinking, it's great to have Samantha. I have no realistic expectation of Kim Cattrall ever appearing again."
No Means No
Cattrall, too, had her time with Variety when she outrightly stated that it's "a no" when it comes to appearing on AJLT. The actress shared that she has not watched an episode of the show's sequel after making the decision to take away from the franchise years ago. "It's a great wisdom to know when enough is enough," she said.
Although Parker has made it clear about not wanting to say anything "unpleasant" about her former costar, she did share on The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast that this ongoing "feud" with Kim is "painful." Parker said that after all the years on the show, there wasn't anyone else who spoke about her that way except for Kim.
A Surprise Twist of Events
Samantha Jones has broken the internet. Kim has made it clear time and time again that she is not interested in reprising her iconic role as Samantha Jones until now. Just recently, Variety reported that she would be returning to her roots for a one-off scene in the season finale, where we see her have a phone conversation with Carrie.
Cattrall will be dressed by Patricia Field, Sex and the City's costume designer, who to has not returned for the sequel. Apparently, her scene was shot specifically in a way where she did not have to interact with anyone else. Cattrall confirmed the news on Instagram with the Variety article, writing "Happy Pride" as the caption.
Kristen Davis Chimes In
Following the exciting yet shocking news that Cattrall is re-joining the cast for a short cameo, Kristin Davis revealed she doesn't want to "waste" any energy on the animosity with her former costar. She told The Telegraph that Cattrall and the Sex and the City cast have not remained in touch over the years for various reasons.
"I can't change anybody," Davis added, acknowledging Cattrall's choice to come back solo without appearing on screen with any of the other women, disappointing many fans. "I do understand fans' feelings – that they're upset . . . I wish I could fix it, but I can't; it's not in my power."
So Now What?
Cynthia Nixon, too spoke out about the drama, acknowledging Catrall's absence from the show, saying filming "did feel very different." However, "the main thing that felt so great was that everybody who was there really wanted to be there," and "that's just the bottom line."
Regardless, Cattrall is on board for a short cameo, and we can't wait. SJP explained her thoughts to The Daily Mail, on Kim's brief appearance as Jones, as both nostalgic and joyful. Well, make sure to catch the second season of AJLT on June 22.