Share this article Share Writing on Instagram, she said: You are not my family. So I'm writing to tell you one last time to stop exploiting our tragedy in order to restore your 'nice girl' persona. Clearly she felt blind fury that Sarah Jessica, 52 — known to all as SJP — was, in her view, yet again fostering her public image as a 'nice girl' offering support to her 'friend Kim' — and that muscling in on the Cattrall family's grief was a step too far.
No one who has followed the relationship between the women was under the illusion it was very good — they are both known to have diva-ish tendencies and have been feuding on and off for years.
But until this weekend the depth of hostility involved, on Cattrall's part at least, was unknown. It would seem the huge resentment she appears to feel towards SJP — over her status on the show, her salary and her influence — boiled over in that one, vitriolic rant. So is SJP entirely innocent or does Kim have grounds for her anger? Not a word — beyond what the scripts demanded — despite hour days filming together, for months on end. The three women would eat lunch apart from Kim, too, according to sources on set.
What it unleashed in return has shocked much of Hollywood and millions of Sex And The City pictured fans worldwide. Kim responded with a furious attack that seemed, if not irrational, then certainly out of proportion When they were shooting out of town, they would stay in different hotels.
There was no girly exchange of gossip while they were all having their make-up done. The reasons were many; over the years arguments raged over everything from status and money to the amount of nudity in love scenes. SJP got to keep her bra on, which rankled with Kim who, as sexually voracious Samantha Jones, was required to bare all at every opportunity.
But essentially, it all boiled down to which actress was the bigger star. SJP, nominally the star of the show as sex columnist Carrie Bradshaw — and incidentally best friends with series producer Michael Patrick King — fought hard against Cattrall's natural scene-stealing charisma. SJP got pay rises, promotion to executive editor and ever more say over the series, which ran between Kim, however, did not — despite her furious protests. Evidently matters became so unpleasant that Kim decided she was done with Sex And The City, and despite two successful spin-off films, she turned her back on a third.
That prompted some semi-public sniping in October last year after Kim appeared on a British chat show — but that was all. Which is what makes Kim's outbursts this weekend all the more jaw-dropping. She was fiercely ambitious, having grown up poor in Nelsonville, Ohio, and had such a high opinion of her film career that she needed some persuading to sign up for Sex And The City in Cattrall, by contrast — who was born in Liverpool but whose family emigrated to Canada when she was a baby — was a jobbing actress with appearances in Quincy, Star Trek, glossy drama Scruples and teen film Porky's being her highlights.
Within a few seasons, the four stars of the show were among the biggest names in television. And no one's name was bigger than SJP's. She and Cynthia Nixon Miranda had known each other for years, and she quickly became fast friends with Kristin Davis Charlotte , too. Kim's only ally was Darren Starr, who had created the show and produced it. This caused mutterings because the great example at the time was Friends, which ran from to and was also globally successful.
Kim Cattrall, whose third marriage to audio engineer Mark Levinson was falling apart due to the strains of filming, thought Sex And The City should follow Friends' lead. The other actresses wanted to keep up. She felt SJP got more screen time than she did, which was only fair because Sarah Jessica was the lead, but it caused tension. Nixon was said to be stunned by the 'betrayal' and the repercussions rumbled on for a long time. A crew member reportedly said: They won't sit with her for meals, there's no going out after the show for a nightcap.
It's so bad she basically sits in her dressing room alone — sometimes crying. When this came to light, the series' maker HBO had to to play down talk of divisions — after all this was a show that was heavily sold as a joyous exploration of the sustaining power of female friendships.
According to a spokesman, Kim stayed in a different house 'because she was married and her husband was supposed to come down'. It is telling, however, that when the TV series ended in , SJP reportedly broke down in tears while filming the last episode but Kim was rather more brusque.
She later told chat show host Jonathan Ross that she had 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. Later, she said she was going through a divorce and caring for her sick father, and simply felt too exhausted to contemplate a return.
SJP admitted filming had led to conflicts. But I don't have any regrets about how I've treated people. Kim Cattrall nearly came a cropper after she was photographed holding a script with some of the dialogue visible. Bosses issued a warning telling her to be more careful. He felt the biggest ego on set belonged to Cattrall. But on Sex And The City, all of the stars had two. Except Kim, who had three. There was no let up in tension after the film was released to widespread criticism.
The script was deemed to be too heavy on puns and SJP's fondness for this type of joke was blamed. Outwardly there were denials, of course, that relations had descended again into the deep freeze. Indeed, Cattrall told this newspaper in She is a born leader and she guides the crew and cast in such a strong but gentle way. A script was written in and negotiations opened in But last year it was reported that Cattrall had 'killed' the film with 'outrageous demands', refusing to be in it unless Warner Bros agreed to produce other films which she had in development.
This she denied, saying: We're not doing it. However, Cattrall was having none of it. In a TV interview with Piers Morgan, she explained: For me it's over; it's over with no regrets. I just wish that Sarah had been nicer. There are few in Hollywood who would bet on a rapprochment any time soon. Advertisement Share or comment on this article: