where's the beef?

A Complete Timeline of the Decades-long Sex and the City Feud

Photo: HBO

Hidden in the fine print of the most recent government stimulus package was funding for a project called “And Just Like That …” On January 10, the world found out that this is a reboot of Sex and the City that one day will premiere on HBO Max. The ladies of SATC have been keeping busy in the time since the demise of the third Sex and the City film: Cynthia Nixon ran for governor of New York, Kristin Davis went to the Red Table, and Sarah Jessica Parker has been seen answering phones at her shoe stores. But the one thing missing from the reboot announcement, however, is Kim Cattrall. If you’ve been paying attention to any show-related news, this isn’t going to surprise you. If you haven’t been paying attention, we have created a primer to catch you up, and, more important, to explain why we think this happened.

Miley Cyrus once said, “She’s just being Miley.” This is also true of Kim. She cannot help the fact that she is a star. That’s not to say the other actresses aren’t. They are stars beyond the sky. Icons. Legendary. But Kim is a star of another kind. First off, she’s British (have confirmed this). If you’re thinking, I didn’t know she was British, that’s because she was ACTING. Kim is a sexy star — her energy dominates any room, including rooms she’s broadcast into. If we can feel her power on our televisions, imagine what it’s like being in a business negotiation with her. That’s going to make waves, especially when it’s in opposition to other stars. Think of astrology!

To understand the history of her alleged feud with the cast, you have to first understand the history of Kim herself. Few other stars have repeatedly achieved viral internet notoriety in the way Kim has without even trying. Each time Kim lets us in a little, we see a world we never could have imagined, yet it leaves us with thousands of questions. Few celebrities are capable of this anymore. What we do learn from these moments is that Kim knows she is a star. This knowledge is the reason why tensions only flare up before a project. When Kim Cattrall is on set, she knows how to do only one thing: shine. Below, a list of moments that may have fueled tensions and other evidence of Kim’s unstoppable star power.

The 1970s 
In 1974, SJP stars as Annie in Annie on Broadway. In 1976, Cattrall stars as Janet in a stage production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in Toronto. Both have a theater background, which means drama is destined.

December 21, 1988
A future fan favorite on Sex and the City, on this day it is established that Kim is also one of God’s favorites as she narrowly escapes death. She had a reservation on the doomed Pan Am flight 103, but at the last minute, she decided to take a later flight because she had neglected to go to Harrods and buy her mother a teapot. A clip of her telling this story goes viral once a year. Evan Handler, who plays Harry, just found it last night. In the clip, she says “a real tragedy was avoided,” and this is absolutely true. It is also important to note that British people shop at Harrods. More on this below.

December 6, 1991
Cattrall plays a Vulcan in the movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country after previously auditioning for another Star Trek role that went to Kirstie Alley. Kim helped design the headband her character wore.

SJP is a huge movie star, starring in six movies this year alone, including some of the most pivotal movies of the ’90s: Mars Attacks!, The First Wives Club, and If Lucy Fell.

June 6, 1998
Sex and the City debuts. SJP and Kim are the two movie stars in the cast. In chapter five of the Origins podcast, hosted by James Andrew Miller, Michael Patrick King said that you “can imagine” the type of contract SJP had coming off several big-budget movies (see If Lucy Fell) to star in a television show on cable with sex in the name.

June 3, 2000
Sex and the City is now a cultural phenomenon. Many plotlines are pulled from the lives of the actors and writers to keep things fresh. On this date, the New York Post writes that Chris Noth and Winona Ryder are spotted at the 2000 MTV Movie Awards kissing (possibly to make Matt Damon jealous). One year later, on July 29, 2001, the season four, episode ten “Belles of the Balls” airs, wherein Big tells Carrie of Willow Summers, the movie star he’s dating: “I flew out to L.A. to take her to that MTV award thing.” Is Willow Summers based on Winona Ryder?

April 28, 2002
A piece appears in the New York Post with the headline “Cattrall Set to Swear Off Sex.” In what would become a common sentiment, the article quotes her telling British Living TV, “There are other things I’d like to do.”

August 4, 2002
Season five, episode three of Sex and the City, “Luck Be an Old Lady,” airs. It is speculated that while filming in Atlantic City, SJP, Cynthia, and Kristin all got a house together, and Kim was forced to get her own place. This has been disputed. Only the Boardwalk knows for sure.

February 15, 2002
The movie Crossroads is released. Kim portrays Britney Spears’s mom, a role Kim says was originally intended for Madonna, positing that Madonna and Kim Cattrall are basically interchangeable.

February 22, 2004
“An American Girl in Paris: Part Deux,” the Sex and the City series finale, airs. According to the Origins podcast, all four stars are contracted for a future film; the world waits with breath that is bated.

Sometime between 1998 and 2004
While the exact origin is unknown, Kim films an at-home intimate moment with her then-husband Mark Levinson, who invented a special type of sound system used in Lexus cars ($$$). Sporting khaki and denim, Kim scats a poem to Mark’s bass playing. It is quite simply the realest 43 seconds you’ll ever experience. It is later uploaded to YouTube, and every few years it resurfaces as a meme that sets the world on fire.

November 15, 2005
Kim releases Sexual Intelligence, a book and DVD documentary. It is currently not available on Amazon, but there is a trailer, and one review says simply, “Interesting, but no nudity.” The book is a companion piece that we own and keep on the coffee table as an icebreaker for all guests.

June 30, 2008
Cattrall opens the Harrods summer sale, which included giving a speech, waving from the escalators and posing on a giant couch in the shape of a teddy bear. During the speech, she refers to herself as a “Brit.” As we mentioned earlier, Kim is British. See more below.

May 12, 2008
The first Sex and the City film premieres. There had been previous speculation about tension around money and that Kim doesn’t eat lunch with her co-stars. During the press tour, Time Out puts the ladies on the cover of its magazine with tape across their mouths, as if to say “Too Much!,” which was just rude. This was later referenced in the film’s aptly named sequel, Sex and the City 2.

August 12, 2009
Cattrall appears on Who Do You Think You Are?, a show on which celebrities investigate their family tree, and her British heritage is confirmed. A huge moment for Annabelle Bronstein visibility.

May 27, 2010
The movie Sex and the City 2 premieres. It is widely understood to be the greatest film ever made. In the film, Charlotte’s nanny is a lesbian from Donegal, Ireland. In real life, SJP has a holiday house in Donegal, proving that, on this show, art imitates life and Willow Summers is most likely Winona Ryder.

March 31, 2011
Kim tells a New York Post reporter to “get a respectable job.” She also asks the reporter, “Why don’t you work at — what’s that news agency, Roybers?” When the reporter lets her know she probably means “Reuters,” Kim says, “Yeah, sorry. I’ve been drinking.” This is Kim giving us star content.

April 27, 2011
Kim appears on The Howard Stern Show and addresses the rumors that she was the reason behind a delay in the release of the first Sex and the City movie, which was initially intended to go into production much closer to the finale of the series. She says, “I felt that what they were offering the three of us — without a script, without a start date — was not fair, after us being in that show and being such an integral part. Not just playing the part, but we inspired so many of the story lines.” (This is the final proof we have that Willow Summers is without a doubt Winona Ryder.)

Jun 11, 2012
Kim stars in a sultry Nintendo 3DS commercial, proving once again she can not be limited. In 2014, she stars in the HBO Canada series Sensitive Skin as Davina, a gallerist who moves to Toronto with her husband, who is a pop-culture critic. He eventually dies, and she moves to a houseboat, which is a story line more shows should feature. She is booked up and busy in the years since the release of the sequel.

March 12, 2017
Now here is the calm before the storm. We get a peek into Kim’s Manhattan pied-à-terre in an Architectural Digest home tour. At one point, she refers to her living room as her “Temple Aphrodite,” and once you watch it, you’ll start doing the same.

September 28, 2017
SJP confirms that the long-rumored third Sex and the City film is not happening, expressing her disappointment “more so for that audience that has been so vocal in wanting another movie.”

Later that day
A Daily Mail article suggests that “Cattrall, 61, demanded they produce other movies she had in development or she wouldn’t sign up for the project.” Personally, if Kim Cattrall said to us that she would be in the movie if we produced some of her other projects, we would say, “Wow, how did we get this lucky to have so much Kim Cattrall content?”

September 29, 2017
Kim tweets that she has woken up to a “shitstorm,” using the poop emoji. She is referencing the aforementioned Daily Mail article that places the blame for the demise of the third film at her feet due to the alleged additional projects she wanted produced. She states, “The only demand I ever made was that I didn’t want to do a 3rd film….& that was back in 2016.”

October 1, 2017
Kim appears on the show of Home Alone 2 star Piers Morgan and implies that her relationship with her castmates became toxic and declares they have “never been friends.” She claims that stories calling her “demanding” are fabricated and places some of the blame for that on SJP, claiming, “I think she could have been nicer.”

October 2, 2017
Kim appears on a Norwegian talk show called Skavlan. The other guest is the Norwegian prime minister, who tells Kim, “You look fantastic.”

October 4, 2017
Actor Willie Garson, who plays Stanford, tweets, “Dear fans, because I’m ‘toxic’, I’m going to negotiate a contract for 6 months, not come to terms, then say I never wanted to do it anyway.” In another tweet, he seems to accuse Kim of squandering her gifts by not signing on to the role and for ostensibly providing “comfort” to fans during “troubled times” (Trump).

October 7, 2017
The New York Post publishes an article titled “Inside the mean-girls culture that destroyed ‘Sex and the City.’” It cites a pattern of press stories blaming Kim Cattrall’s demands for production holdup materializing every time she is negotiating a contract for the SATC films. A friend of hers is quoted as saying “Same shit, different day.” Kim will later include a link to this article in an explosive Instagram post, despite previously telling a New York Post reporter to “get a respectable job.”

February 1, 2018
SJP responds to Kim on Watch What Happens Live, saying she’s “heartbroken” and that “it was a professional experience, but it became personal.” As Meg Ryan says in You’ve Got Mail, “What is so wrong with being personal anyway? … Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.” (We just rewatched You’ve Got Mail.)

February 10, 2018
Kim gets wind of an Extra TV interview with SJP, who offers her condolences for the passing of Kim’s brother that month. In a moment when she was raw and experiencing unfathomable amounts of grief, she posts an Instagram labeling SJP a “hypocrite” and declaring explicitly, “You are not my friend.”

March 19, 2018
Cynthia Nixon announces her campaign for governor of New York. She pummels Andrew Cuomo in a debate and gives us the instantly iconic and evergreen phrase “Can you stop lying?” We also learn through leaked emails that she once had some “unpleasantness” with Jane Krakowski. Kristin endorsed Cynthia Nixon right away; SJP initially said she was undecided before eventually endorsing Cynthia; and Kim Cattrall tweeted, “I support & respect any former colleague’s right to make their own career choices.”

November 12, 2018
Chapter five of the the Origins podcast debuts and delves into the history of the SATC franchise. Kim is the only main cast member who does not participate. In the podcast, Michael Patrick King sheds some light on what was at the heart of the tension when he recalls, “Kim thought and said, ‘I’m everyone’s favorite.’” He elaborates that this was not disputed by SJP, who believed that this was “why the show works.”

August 10, 2019
Kim gives an interview to the Guardian, during which she inadvertently explains what may have been at the root of all the tension over the years, saying, “I don’t want to be in a situation for even an hour where I’m not enjoying myself.” Who can argue with this? She also makes it clear that, even though fans may not have, she has absolutely moved on, saying, “I couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t just replace me with another actress instead of wasting time bullying. No means no.”

September 21, 2020 
The new series Filthy Rich debuts. It’s a fun show, and Kim is great in it! Is this one of the shows she wanted produced as part of the package deal? Perhaps it is. Perhaps it is.

January 10, 2021
Production on a reboot of SATC titled “And Just Like That …” is confirmed, and just like that we all finally have something meaningful to look forward to in the never-ending tundra. There was a small, aching part of us that thought Kim might perhaps zoom in for just a moment with a quick “Hey girls, sorry I can’t be quarantining with you, but, as you know, I married the Norwegian prime minister.” But this hope is squashed when SJP replies to a comment on her announcement post pointing out that “Samantha Jones” was not tagged by saying, “Samantha isn’t a part of this story. But she will always be a part of us.” Perhaps no statement can better encapsulate Kim’s star power than that.

A Full Timeline of the Decades-long Sex and the City Feud