Just a week ago, the Sex and the City cast was riding high. The popular show’s reboot had just hit the airwaves and despite the shocking on-screen death of one of the main characters’ husbands, people were pretty excited to see its return. That same character – or rather, the actor who plays him – would soon be the center of a roiling sexual assault allegation that saw Peloton pulling an advertisement almost as soon as it was released, and stars from SATC reeling. How did Chris Noth go from Peloton ad star to pariah overnight? CELEB takes a look at the allegations that changed everything.
Chris Noth and Peloton
Peloton found themselves unwittingly at the center of two scandals involving Noth this month, and both times the company acted swiftly out of respect for their customers, setting an example for other companies to follow. First, after Noth’s character died on screen shortly after wrapping up an on-screen ride on a Peloton bike, stocks of the popular exercise machine immediately plummeted. In response to the public’s reaction, Peloton immediately stepped up to release medical information from a cardiologist supporting the fact that their bikes are generally safe. They could have ignored people buzzing over the bike-adjacent death, but instead they faced it head-on and made sure that customers knew their concerns were valid and heard.
Per Newsweek, “‘I’m sure SATC fans, like me, are saddened by the news that Mr. Big dies of a heart attack,’ said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist and member of Peloton’s health and wellness advisory council, in a statement to The Los Angeles Times.
‘Mr. Big lived what many would call an extravagant lifestyle—including cocktails, cigars, and big steaks—and was at serious risk as he had a previous cardiac event in Season 6.
‘These lifestyle choices and perhaps even his family history, which often is a significant factor, were the likely cause of his death. Riding his Peloton bike may have even helped delay his cardiac event.’
Dr. Steinbaum went on to highlight that ‘more than 80 percent of all cardiac-related deaths are preventable through lifestyle, diet and exercise modifications.’
She added: ‘While 25 percent of heart attacks each year are in patients who already had one (like Mr. Big), even then they are very, very treatable. The lesson here is, know your numbers! It’s always important to talk to your doctor, get tested, and have a healthy prevention strategy. The good news is Peloton helps you track heart rate while you ride, so you can do it safely.’”
Then came the one-two punch: Noth was hit with sexual assault allegations from two women, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter. Forbes writes, “According to the New York Times, Peloton removed its online ad featuring actor Chris Noth after The Hollywood Reporter published an article in which two women accused the actor of sexual assault.
In a statement, Peloton said, ‘Every single sexual assault accusation must be taken seriously. We were unaware of these allegations when we featured Chris Noth in our response to HBO’s reboot’ of Sex and the City. ‘As we seek to learn more, we have stopped promoting this video and archived related social posts.’”
The ad they created to cheekily nod to Noth’s connection to the bike earlier in the month was pulled almost as soon as it went up, proving that Peloton was once again ahead of the curve and taking customer concerns seriously.
But what are the allegations? The details in The Hollywood Reporter story are horrifying and borderline sadistic. “Zoe” – real name hidden to protect her identity – details how a playful kiss turned into a terrifying and painful ordeal that ended with Noth raping her, and then laughing at her distress. Zoe required medical attention and stitches after the assault but wouldn’t reveal her attacker’s identity because he was popular and well-known. In 2004, SATC the original was at its height and everyone who knew Hollywood at the time knew that these kinds of allegations often went ignored, or worse – mocked.
A second woman, “Lily” – name also changed – met Noth in 2015 when she was 25, and he 60. Lily admits to being somewhat naive in that she assumed when Noth invited her out for whiskey and a chat about her career, that sex wouldn’t be involved. However, Lily never consented and before the night was over, Noth would assault her and leave her crying.
Both stories share elements similar enough that Noth seems to have a method of operation. In both cases, Noth was methodical, violent, and mocking. Both women pushed down memories of the experiences out of fear of reprisals, but Noth’s return to the screen brought it all roaring back.
THR reports, “Contacted for comment, Noth sent THR a statement: ‘The accusations against me made by individuals I met years, even decades, ago are categorically false. These stories could’ve been from 30 years ago or 30 days ago — no always means no — that is a line I did not cross. The encounters were consensual. It’s difficult not to question the timing of these stories coming out. I don’t know for certain why they are surfacing now, but I do know this: I did not assault these women.’”
It’s clear, however, that neither Peloton nor fans believe him – and the online backlash has been swift.
SATC Stars Speak Out
It’s not just Peloton taking a stand against Noth. SATC stars are having their say as well. Across Instagram, the show’s stars released the same statement, per ABC, “‘We are deeply saddened to hear the allegations against Chris Noth,’ the statement reads. ‘We support the women who have come forward and shared their painful experiences. We know it must be a very difficult thing to do and we commend them for it.'”
It’s unclear what consequences Noth could face legally, but for now he’s definitely persona non grata in Hollywood. In the post-#MeToo era, sexual assault allegations are believed, and both accounts are detailed and honest enough to be condemning on their own. As often happens with these cases though, there may be more people holding their silence and time will tell if they come forward as well.