Life imitates art: Candace Bushnell and John Corbett dated in real life. Photo (2): Getty Images

'Sex and the City' shocker: Did the real-life Carrie Bradshaw actually date the actor who played her nice-guy boyfriend, Aidan Shaw?

(Spoiler Alert: Yes!)

Picture the question being typed on Carrie's computer screen as we fade into the opening credits, aaaaand scene:

On Tuesday night in New York City, Candace Bushnell, best-selling author of "Sex and the City" and "The Carrie Diaries," sat on a stool with her legs crossed. A leopard-print jacket from St. John designer George Sharp clung to her shoulders, and one chunky, sparkly blue heel bobbed as she spoke.

"Miu Miu," she said, answering a question about the shoe she was wearing and the brand she picked as the successor to Manolo Blahnik, which her creation, Carrie Bradshaw, had helped to make so desirable. An audible ripple passed through the select guest list of around 60 people.

We were at the St. John store on Fifth Ave., just a couple blocks from Radio City Music Hall, where "Sex and the City 2" had debuted the night before. Bushnell was speaking with the Daily Beast's Tina Brown about "The Carrie Diaries," and even though Bushnell resolutely isn't her most famous creation, the small audience kept shaking her for information as if she were fashion's Magic 8 Ball.

"I actually don't shop very much," Bushnell admitted brightly. "I have a tendency to rotate a few pairs of ripped jeans and an old cashmere sweater."

(For the record, having run into Bushnell countless times over the last 12 years, she has only ever looked like she just robbed Bergdorf Goodman.)

At any rate, the crowd was on her side. At one point Brown (whose Daily Beast sponsored the event as part of a reading series in conjunction with St. John) asked what she would do if she had to choose between Sex or the City. Bushnell chose the City, and there was barely suppressed applause.

"The Carrie Diaries" is based on the teenage life of a protagonist who would later grow up to place a single sharp stiletto heel between the testicles of New York City. In response to prodding from Brown, Bushnell admitted that if the characters were real, she would have gone for "Mr. Big" herself.

"I remember him," laughed Brown -- as well she should: The real-life "Mr. Big" is widely known as Bushnell's ex Ron Galotti, the former publisher of Vogue and GQ (Conde Nast stablemates to the titles Brown once edited, the New Yorker and Vanity Fair).

And what about Aidan Shaw?

"My mother never liked Aidan," Bushnell, who is married to ballet dancer Charles Askegard, said of the character played by John Corbett, who recurs as a threat to Carrie's marriage in "Sex and the City 2."

"And years ago I sort of went on a date with Aidan, with John Corbett." (More gasps from the room.)

"We just went to dinner, and all I could think was, Oh my god, I could only imagine if something happened -- which, nothing happened -- but being a woman you're always like, gosh, you walk by someone on the street and you're like, what if I married him?"

Okay Ms. Bushnell, so why didn't you?

"All I could imagine was, if I'd called my mother and said 'I'm dating Aidan,' she would have had a heart attack!"

Hungry for more "Sex"? Read revelations from the movie's cast here.