By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated July 30, 2003 04:02 PM

Spoiler alert: Stop reading now if you don’t want to know who ends up being Carrie Bradshaw’s great love.

The New York Times, obviously having no shame, reveals the character and the star who will play him in Wednesday’s editions, complete with pictures.

So, obviously, the star, Sarah Jessica Parker, producers of “Sex and the City” and reps from its network, HBO (which, like PEOPLE, is part of AOL Time Warner), have no qualms about the revelation — since they are quoted.

Then again, those who watch “Sex” seem so thoroughly addicted, nothing could possibly dissuade them from watching the series finale come January.

(Note the long build-up here. Really, if you don’t want to know, turn back now.)

And so, says Parker, 38, who plays Carrie — and who also serves as the show’s executive producer — the plan is to have her character fall in love with someone bigger than longtime squeeze Mr. Big, who is played by actor Chris Noth.

“We had to make Big look like a high school sweetheart,” she tells The Times. Which is why she wooed classic dreamboat — and international dance star — Mikhail Baryshnikov, 55, to ride in on a white horse and sweep her off her feet. (Oops, that was what Harry Connick did with Debra Messing on “Will & Grace” — but you get the idea.)

Baryshnikov, who basically stopped acting 10 years ago (his biggest movie was 1985’s so-so “White Knights” while his best movie was 1977’s “The Turning Point”), will play the character Alexander Petrovsky, an important artist.

“He has such presence that Carrie gets bigger, too,” says Parker. “The scale changes her.”

Baryshnikov, in fact, was shooting a scene with Parker when The Times tracked him down. “I seem to have a tendency to do things that people think I shouldn’t do,” he said.

As for the show’s naughty nature, he added: “I think it’s about time to do something my children can’t watch.”