Matthew Perry became rich and famous after starring on the hit TV series, “Friends,” but fame and fortune couldn’t protect him from a horrific slide into drug and alcohol addiction.
“Mostly it was drinking and opiates,” Perry told ABC News May 30. “I think I was pretty good at hiding it, but eventually people were aware. I honestly recoil [when I see photos of myself from then]. It’s scary to look at that. I was a sick guy.”
Matthew, whose substance abuse spiraled out of control during his “Friends” days, went to rehab several times and experienced dramatic weight fluctuations during his drug-abuse heyday.
While Perry’s depression and substance abuse were tabloid fodder for years, he admits that fear of being recognized helped him curb his behavior in public. “I couldn’t just walk into a bar,” he said. “Everybody in the bar would go, ‘You, you can’t do that. I just read that you can’t do that. You can’t. You can’t.’ ”
Matthew, 43, is now clean and sober and is trying to help others toward addiction recovery. Perry has converted his former Malibu, Calif., home into a sober-living facility called Perry House. For his efforts, he recently received the “Champion of Recovery” award from the Obama Administration’s Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Meanwhile, Perry is uncertain that a “Friends” reunion film will happen anytime soon. “I don’t think so,” he said. “It would be terrible to do something and have it not be good.”