Kim Cattrall & Sarah Jessica Parker’s Feud Timeline Shows This ‘Sex & The City’ Narrative Has Gone On Too Long
After a weekend in which Kim Cattrall called out Sex and the City co-star Sarah Jessica Parker for "exploiting" her brother Chris Cattrall’s death, it was hard for fans to figure out how things got to this point. With all these exhausting headlines perpetuating this narrative, it's worth taking a closer look at the timeline of Cattrall and Parker's "feud," which has happening in the tabloids longer than their HBO show was even on the air. Seriously, it's been such a long time that these two have been pitted against each other in the press, and this timeline will only make that all the more obvious.
As everyone knows, this wasn't the first time Cattrall spoke out against Parker, but their fraught relationship has gotten more attention in recent months after it was announced that Sex and the City 3 isn’t happening, which, according to The Daily Mail, was because Cattrall didn't sign on. However, the actor told Piers Morgan that she felt she was being blamed for making a decision that was best for her. She also said she felt as if Parker "could have been nicer" about the whole situation.
Meanwhile, Parker has always tried to quell the endless rumors that they didn’t like each other. As far back as a 2009 interview with Elle, the actor said she adored Cattrall after it was reported that they were feuding. Days after Cattrall accused her of sending condolences to "restore [her] ‘nice girl’ persona," Parker once again told People there was no feud in an interview that took place before that Instagram was posted. She claimed to the magazine:
"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.”
As you'll see from this timeline, the feud narrative wasn't always as overblown as it appears to be now.
December 2004: Cattrall Discusses Sex & The City Salary Requests
There have always been rumors that the Sex and the City actors didn't get along, but in her 2004 appearance on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, Cattrall revealed her frustrations with the series, which had just ended after six seasons. Those frustrations weren't with the cast; it was over money — but it was portrayed as being a shot at Parker, who was being paid more, according to E! News, because she was an executive producer on the series.
"I felt after six years it was time for all of us to participate in the financial windfall of Sex and The City," Cattrall said. She reportedly asked for $1 million per episode if the show did shoot a Season 7, but it didn't. "When they didn't seem keen on that I thought it was time to move on."
Throughout the series, there were rumors that Cattrall's salary requests were holding up filming. It led to her being cast as the "villain" of the show. The New York Post noted this in a recent article titled, "Inside The Mean Girls Culture That Destroyed Sex and The City." “There was a disparity between what Sarah got and what the other girls got," a friend of Cattrall's is quoted as saying. "Everyone loved Kim’s character, people related to her — and [Kim’s] salary wasn’t showing that.”
Variety reported that Cattrall later signed on for the SATC movie after "receiving a higher salary."
May 2008: Cattrall Clarifies She Wasn't On SATC To Make Friends...
Right before the first Sex and the City movie came out in 2008, The Telegraph ran an on-set piece that noted the "tensions" between the co-stars, claiming Parker, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon “wouldn’t even sit with [Cattrall] at mealtimes.”
It was something Davis later denied in a 2010 interview with Marie Claire, explaining, "There was a very strange piece in one of the tabloids that said Kim and I would eat in the restaurant of our hotel and not sit together, which cracks me up." Davis said that while Cattrall preferred to go out for dinner, she preferred to order room service. She told Marie Clarie that the other story, which implied "we don't like each other," was "ridiculous."
But, when the Telegraph asked Cattrall about sitting alone at the 2004 Emmys, while her castmates shared a table, the actor told the publication: “Are we the best of friends? No. We’re professional actresses. We have our own separate lives."
... But SJP Publicly Sticks Up For Her
In that same 2008 Telegraph article, Parker defended her co-star, saying the press chose to "vilify" Cattrall for asking for more money and reportedly holding up the filming of the first SATC movie. But Parker said the cast was never upset over Cattrall's requests:
"No one bothered to say [to the rest of us], 'Are you disappointed by not making the movie?' Yes. 'Do you respect and support her choice to not do it?' Absolutely.'"
Meanwhile, Cattrall told the publication that she was going through “a really tough time” when discussions about that movie were first happening, including a divorce and dealing with her dad's dementia diagnosis. "So I took a step back and returned to Canada, where my family is — that’s the reason behind it," she said. "It wasn’t all about the money.”
November 2009: Parker Says "I Adore" Cattrall
Parker had nothing but nice things to say about Cattrall in an interview with Elle right before Sex and the City 2. "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.”
In that same piece, Cattrall is quoted as saying Parker "shines and she allows you to shine as well."
January 2010: Cattrall Calls The Feud Rumors Just "Juicy Gossip"
Cattrall echoed what Parker said the previous year, telling The Daily Mail that people don't want to "believe" they get along because it doesn't make for a good story.
"The truth of us being friends and getting along and happily doing our jobs together is nowhere near as newsworthy," Cattrall said. "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 added, "[Parker] and I are sick of this. It's exhausting talking about it, and a real bore. Next?”
May 2010: Both Actors Admit There Were Good & Bad Days On Set
In an interview with Marie Claire for Sex and the City 2, Parker admitted that the cast had their ups and downs when shooting the HBO series. "You're on set, you're working 90-hour weeks, you're never home, you're exhausted," she said. "There are times when all of us have been sensitive and sometimes feelings get hurt. But I don't have any regrets about how I've treated people."
In that same piece, Cattrall denied an all-out feud, instead blaming the press for continuing the catfight narrative that had become common with female stars. She told Marie Claire:
"The press has to put women in these boxes, rather than show them as the movie portrays them: working together and being powerful. Things just have to be explosive for no other reason than for people's imaginations."
September 2016: Parker Denies The Feud Rumors — Again
"You answer when they’re deserving and worthy of an answer, and the rest you let go, and let your reputation speak for itself," Parker told Time when the magazine asked how she dealt with the constant rumors that she was fighting with Cattrall. She continued,
"It was always so heartbreaking to me that there was this narrative about Kim [Cattrall] and myself because it just didn’t reflect anything that happened on that set."
This statement came shortly after Parker posted a birthday message to Cattrall on Instagram in August. "Sending love and the very best for a perfectly marvelous, joyous, healthy and adventure filled birthday year," she wrote, signing off, "Your ol' pal, fellow mischief maker and 'sister'."
As Parker told Time, "I posted something on Kim's birthday and people were like, 'Oh my God, I didn't know you liked her! What? We were all at liberty to walk away at any time! But nobody asked those questions of shows with men. Isn't that interesting?"
October 2016: Parker Points Out A Double Standard
After years of dealing with questions about her "feud" with Cattrall, Parker pointed out to Howard Stern that the men on the Sopranos never got asked about their relationships with their co-stars.
"No one ever said to them, 'Did you hang out this weekend with each other? Did you give each other Christmas presents?'" she said. "These were my sisters, these were people that I grew to love and admire... Was every day perfect? Were people always desperately, hopefully in love with each other? No, but this is a family of people who needed each other, relied upon each other, and loved each other."
Parker added, "This sort of narrative, this ongoing catfight, it really upset me for a very long time."
October 2017: Cattrall Calls The Sex & The City Cast "Toxic"
When on Piers Morgan's Life Stories, Cattrall admitted she didn't have much contact with her former co-stars. "We've never been friends," she said. "We've been colleagues and in some ways it's a very healthy place to be because then you have a clear line between your professional life and relationship and your personal."
She also said that it wasn't money that kept her from doing Sex and the City 3. Instead, it was "an empowered decision in my life to end one chapter and start another." In her opinion, though, the cast — specifically Parker — could have done a better job of sticking up for her when the press made her out to be a "diva."
"The thing that still bothers me is this feeling of being in some way made to be the baddie," Cattrall explained. "I never asked for any money, I never asked for any projects, to be thought of as some kind of diva is absolutely ridiculous." She continued,
"This is really where I take to task the people from Sex and the City and specifically Sarah Jessica Parker, is that I think she could have been nicer. I really think she could have been nicer. I don't know what her issue is."
That being said, the actor said the movie should recast her role, and that if they did, "I will be the one in the audience cheering them on."
Feb. 1, 2018: Parker Says She's "Heartbroken" Over Cattrall's Comments
When SJP appeared on her bestie Andy Cohen's Watch What Happens Live, he asked her how she felt about Cattrall's comments to Morgan that they were never friends.
"Heartbroken," Parker said. "That whole week, you and I spoke about it endlessly, cause I was just, I don't know... I found it very upsetting. because, you know, that's not the way I recall our experience so it's sad."
She went on to say that she felt tied the cast was tied together by "this singular experience. 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."
Feb. 10, 2018: Cattrall Tells Parker "I Don't Need Your Love Or Support At This Tragic Time"
In a post shared on both Instagram and Twitter on Feb. 4, Cattrall wrote, "At this time we ask for privacy but we want to thank you all on social media for your outpouring of love and support in this trying time." In response, Parker posted an Instagram comment that read: "Dearest Kim, my love and condolences to you and yours and Godspeed to your beloved brother. Xx."
While doing press for Divorce, Parker further expressed her condolences on Entertainment Tonight and Extra. Those comments led Cattrall to accuse Parker of "exploiting a tragedy" in "order to restore your ‘nice girl’ persona." She wrote that Parker's "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." (Bustle previously reached out to Parker about Cattrall's post, but did not receive an immediate response.)
Feb. 14, 2018: "There Is No Feud," According To Parker
In an interview with People, done before Cattrall's latest Instagram, Parker talked about why she never responded to Cattrall's interview with Piers Morgan, "where she said things that were really hurtful about me." SJP told the magazine,
"We had this experience and it was amazing, and nothing will ever be like it. We had a connection with an audience, and we had a connection with the city and with this crew, and we got to tell these crazy stories with each other. So I don’t want to mess with that. 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."
If one thing is clear from this timeline, and from Parker's most recent statements, it's that this "feud" narrative has been pushed too far, and the two actors are as tired of it as Sex and the City fans are. As Parker said in 2016, they will have good days and they will have bad days, but they will always be connected by the show and that bond can never be denied.