’60 Minutes’ Gaffe During Justin Trudeau Profile Identifies Kim Cattrall As Canadian PM’s Mother

When 60 Minutes researched its profile of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, which aired Sunday night, they probably came across those stories about his father, Pierre. The elder Trudeau, himself PM for many years when Justin was a child, had many girlfriends. Rumored among them was actress Kim Cattrall, who became a household name after her turn as Samantha on Sex in the City.

But, apparently, the researchers at 60 Minutes were easily confused, as they identified a photo of Cattrall with Pierre as Justin Trudeau’s mother, Margaret.

The CBC noted that the 60 Minutes profile did not challenge Trudeau too hard on his credentials or his policies, but did allow him to expand on the influence of his family history upon his own life. When the picture of Pierre Elliot Trudeau and Kim Cattrall graced the screen, the piece was exploring Margaret Trudeau’s life with mental illness.

Cattrall took the error in stride, expressing “pride” in her high-achieving “son.”

Kim Cattrall of 'Sex in the City'
Kim Cattrall is best known as an alumnus of the ‘Sex in the City’ television series and films. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

While reporting on the 60 Minutes gaffe, The Toronto Star noted the photo was taken by Star photographer Dick Darrell in March 1981. Trudeau was 61; Cattrall, then little known, was 24.

At the time, Trudeau was still married to Margaret, although they had been separated since 1977. They would eventually divorce in 1984. The current Prime Minister, one of the couple’s three sons, was born in 1971.

Pierre Trudeau also shares a daughter, born in 1991, with constitutional lawyer Deborah Coyne. Coyne ran against Justin Trudeau for the Liberal Party leadership in 2013. According to a Globe and Mail piece from that year, Pierre Trudeau never had an active role in raising his daughter, Sarah.

Margaret Trudeau, mother of PM Justin Trudea
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke about his mother, Margaret Trudeau, during an interview with ’60 Minutes.’ (Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

According to the CBC, Twitter reaction to the 60 Minutes interview included positive comments from Americans, as well as some negative reaction from Canadians who objected to the “puff” style profile. When asked in the interview what Canadians don’t like about the United States, Trudeau said it was the lack of a worldly view.

“Because you can’t be Canadian without being aware of at least one other country, the United States, because it’s so important to us. I think we sometimes like to think that, you know, Americans will pay attention to us from time to time, too.”

When asked if he worried that allowing Syrian refugees into Canada — the country has accepted 25,000 while the U.S. has taken in only 2,000, according to the program — was a threat to the security of Canadians, Trudeau defended the policy. He also rejected the idea that he would be less welcoming if there was a terrorist attack in Canada. The CBCframed the exchange as Trudeau distancing himself from Donald Trump, the current frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination.

“Ultimately being open and respectful towards each other is a much more powerful way to [defuse] hatred and anger than… big walls and oppressive policies.”

He also explained his reasons for withdrawing Canada’s fighter jets from the battle against ISIS in Iraq and Syria in favor of a greater ground presence.

“There’s a lot of countries that do very well dropping bombs. There are other things that Canada actually does better than most other countries. And one of them is training people on the ground.”

In additional clips posted on 60 Minutes Overtime, Trudeau’s wife Sophie Gregoire described their first meeting as young children, when Sophie was a friend of his brother Michel. Michel died as the result of an avalanche accident in 1998. Trudeau’s father died two years later, in 2000.

[Photo by Reuters/Toby Melville/Getty Images]