Rumors of tension between the stars had been swirling for quite some time, with Kim sitting separately from Sarah Jessica and the show’s other two leads, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis, at the 2004 Emmys.
However, the group regularly denied that there was any bitterness between them and shot down claims that they don’t get along.
It was claimed at the time: “Cattrall demanded [Warner Bros.] produce other movies she had in development or she wouldn't sign up for the project. 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."
This marked a turning point in the long-running feud as Kim began to publicly address what was going on behind the scenes, responding to the Daily Mail’s report with a tweet that stated she’d said no to the movie back in 2016 and hadn’t made any “demands.”
The following month, Kim shocked fans when she spoke out against Sarah Jessica during an interview with Piers Morgan as she insisted that she wouldn’t reprise the role of Samantha Jones again.
Addressing the third movie, she explained: “The answer was simply thank you, but no, I'm good. 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."
"This is really where I take to task the people from Sex and the City, and specifically Sarah Jessica Parker," she said. "I think she could've been nicer. I really think she could've been nicer. I don't know what her issue is."
When asked about Kim’s comments, Sarah Jessica said that she was “heartbroken” during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live, adding: “The whole week… I was really, I found it very upsetting because that's not the way I recall our experience."
The situation came to a head in February 2018 following the tragic death of Kim’s brother, with Kim taking issue when Sarah Jessica commented on her Instagram post to share her condolences.
Sarah Jessica had written: “Dearest Kim, my love and condolences to you and yours and Godspeed to your beloved brother. Xx." Soon after the message was shared, Kim publicly slammed Sarah Jessica on her social media page and accused her of “exploiting” her brother’s death.
“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,” Kim wrote. “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."
Sarah Jessica did not respond at the time, but two months later she insisted “there is no catfight” when asked about the feud at Tribeca Film Festival.
"I have never uttered an unkind, unsupportive, unfriendly word, so I would love to redefine it,” she said, suggesting that the ill feeling was purely one-sided. “I’ve always held Kim’s work in high regard and always appreciative of her contributions. If she chooses not to do the third movie, there’s not a lot I can do to change her mind and we must respect it. That’s the only thing I’ve ever said about it, you know?”
In August 2019, Kim made her feelings about playing Samantha again explicitly clear, stating: “I couldn't understand why they wouldn't just replace me with another actress instead of wasting time bullying. No means no.”
She added in an interview with the Guardian: “I don't want to be in a situation for even an hour where I'm not enjoying myself.”
So when And Just Like That was announced last year, it wasn’t a huge surprise when it was confirmed that Kim, and consequently Samantha, would not be in the show.
Although it was speculated that the character would be killed off in order to explain her absence from Carrie and co.’s lives, the very first episode revealed that Samantha had actually moved to London following a falling out with Carrie.
In a plot choice that was considered by some viewers to be an obvious jibe at Kim, Carrie recalled how Samantha had stopped answering her calls and replying to texts when she fired her as her publicist.
Despite this, Samantha has been present throughout the 10-episode series: sending Carrie flowers, having a brief text message exchange, and — minor spoiler alert — reuniting with Carrie for an off-camera drink in the season finale.
Although Kim hasn’t publicly commented on the series, she's made her feelings relatively clear on social media by liking a series of tweets lauding her decision to step away.
A fan had written, “So proud of @KimCattrall for skipping the trashy S&TC reboot and doing @HIMYFonHulu. She’s wonderful, and so is @HilaryDuff,” which Kim promptly liked.
Despite this, Samantha’s involvement in the final episode fueled some fans’ hope that she may be back on our screens if And Just Like That returns for a second season, which Sarah Jessica has now admitted she wouldn’t be OK with.
In a new interview with Variety, the star made the uncharacteristic decision to address Kim’s past comments about both their feud and the show, and confessed that she wouldn’t be comfortable welcoming Kim back as a direct result of what had been said.
“If some miracle were to happen, and Cattrall wanted to play Samantha again, would Parker be OK with that?” The publication asked.
“I don’t think I would, because I think there’s just too much public history of feelings on her part that she’s shared,” Sarah Jessica replied.
She then added: “I haven’t participated in or read articles, although people are inclined to let me know.”
Sarah Jessica went on to praise the way Samantha’s absence was addressed, and how the character was able to remain a part of the show.
“There’s a very distinct line between Samantha and Kim,” she said. “Samantha’s not gone. Samantha’s present, and I think was handled with such respect and elegance. She wasn’t villainized. She was a human being who had feelings about a relationship, so I think we found a way to address it which was necessary and important for people that loved her.”
In an in-depth interview with the same publication, he remarked: “You have to look at the reality of something: You can literally not make an actress play a part.”
Michael then suggested that Kim’s comments about the show and Sarah Jessica are what sealed Samantha’s fate, adding: “There was no thought that Kim would ever participate in And Just Like That, because she’s said what she had said.”
“The only place I participate in magical thinking is in fiction. You take people at their word, and you’re a smart producer — you don’t back yourself into a corner,” Michael continued. “Magically thinking, it’s great to have Samantha. I have no realistic expectation of Kim Cattrall ever appearing again.”
And Just Like That’s season finale premiered on Thursday, and HBO Max has yet to confirm whether it’ll be renewed for a second season.
But Sarah Jessica shared her enthusiasm to keep the revival going, telling Variety: “Michael and I spoke two weeks ago, and said: ‘OK, when are we going to talk about this?’ Because there’s a calendar and you don’t want to let too much time pass. There feels like there’s momentum.”
And HBO content chief Casey Bloys also hinted at a renewal, previously commenting: “In terms of viewership, it’s been phenomenal. I couldn’t be happier with how it’s doing in terms of reception.”
Either way, it doesn’t look like Samantha will be returning from London any time soon.