If you’re a big enough fan of Sex and the City to have seen every episode, you would probably swear that John F. Kennedy Jr. never appears on the show.
But that’s not quite true –– an episode in season two mentioned him by name as a background character. Twelve days after the show aired, he died in a tragic accident, and SATC producers decided to cut his name from the episode.
Here’s what happened.
In the fifth episode of season two of the show, which aired in July 1999, Samantha is shunned from high society after sleeping with a socialite’s husband. She manages to win her way back into favour by befriending a well-loved celebrity at a charity event.
Originally, this celebrity was John F. Kennedy Jr., son of the former president of the US. He never appeared on the show, but his name was said in a voiceover and there was a stand-in background actor who was meant to look like him.
Less than two weeks later, JFK Jr., his wife, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, and his sister-in-law, Lauren Bessette, died in a plane crash. Kennedy himself was piloting the plane, which disappeared and was recovered in the ocean five days later.
Following the accident, the Sex and the City production team made the choice to replace his name in the episode with another A-lister: Leonardo DiCaprio.
It was easy enough to re-record the voiceover and slot it into the episode, but eagle-eyed fans may notice that the stand-in actor looks nothing like DiCaprio –– he looks a lot more like JKF Jr.
All future airings of the episode, and the DVD version, referenced DiCaprio.
That’s not the only change made by the SATC production team. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, they made the decision to edit depictions of the World Trade Centre towers out of the show.