The tragedy of Matthew Perry: Pornstars, drugs and the decline of an icon

The tragedy of Matthew Perry: Pornstars, drugs and the decline of an icon
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13 years since the finale of Friends aired, Matthew Perry continues to be loved worldwide as the sarcastic Chandler Bing. In fact, every role Matthew has taken on since 'Friends', has more or less been a variation of Chandler, be it Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple or Ben Donovan in Mr. Sunshine.

Despite his stardom, Matthew has had a life that not many would envy. In fact, while he was still enjoying the popularity of Friends, he went through major lows in his life, that his co-stars helped him through this tough phase. From an addiction to Vicodin and alcohol abuse, Matthew has been through the worst and come out stronger multiple times. 

Matthew's addiction to Vicodin began with a jet ski accident in 1997. The drug was prescribed to him to make him feel better, and unfortunately for the actor, he felt better than he had ever felt in his "entire life." Matthew has since revealed that he has had a big problem with pills and alcohol.  


Matthew Perry arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros. 'The Invention of Lying' (Getty Images)

The star's addictions were further fueled by the tremendous success of Friends and the life that came with it.  "I was on 'Friends' from age 24 to 34. I was in the white-hot flame of fame. The six of us were just everywhere all the time. From an outsider's perspective, it would seem like I had it all. It was actually a very lonely time for me because I was suffering from alcoholism," he revealed, adding, "It was going on before Friends, but it's a progressive disease. I wasn't a massive party guy. I wasn't a bull-in-a-china-shop kind of drinker."  

Matthew checked into Minnesota's Hazelden Foundation rehabilitation center to try and kick his Vicodin addiction in 1997. About his harrowing experience, Matthew told People, "I don't think there's anything in the world that I can't face, having faced that. That was the scariest thing that's ever happened to me. You get a whole new respect for yourself and life when you go through something that difficult."


Matthew gave his fans a scare following his time in rehab by losing close to 20 pounds. He was reportedly admitted to a hospital for two weeks with acute pancreatitis, a condition which is caused by both alcohol and drug abuse.

Matthew Perry attends Phoenix House's 12th Annual Triumph For Teens Awards Gala. (Getty Images)

Matthew revealed that in his case it was actually heavy drinking and poor eating habits that led to this medical condition. He reiterated during an interview with Us Weekly, "You play, you pay. But there were no pills involved. I learned my lesson at Hazelden."

The Friends star has admitted that he does not remember a big chunk of the series because of his addiction. In response to the question about his least favorite episode on the show that was asked during a BBC interview Matthew said, "I think the answer is, I don't remember three years of it. So none of those… somewhere between season 3 and 6." 


He, however, was never actually high during work hours - just painfully hungover. "I couldn't stop. Eventually things got so bad that I couldn't hide it, and then everybody knew," Matthew had revealed in a 2013 interview with People

The '17 Again' star went back to rehab in 2001 with the hopes of getting better. At the time his publicist released a statement which said, "Matthew has every intention of completing his treatment so that he can continue his dream of entertaining people and making them laugh. He appreciates everyone's concern and thanks them for respecting his privacy."

Matthew, who remained perseverant about his goal of staying sober admitted himself to rehab for a third time in 2011, despite not having relapsed. Calling it a pre-emptive measure, the 'Go On' star told TMZ, I'm making plans to go away for a month to focus on my sobriety and to continue my life in recovery. Please enjoy making fun of me on the world wide web."


Following this, Matthew became a vocal advocate for other struggling with addictions. Stating that drug courts were the single most effective program for curing serious drug addicts, Matthew told the Hill, "Any opportunity I get to talk about drug courts on a one-on-one level or a much bigger level—like testifying in that scary room—I grab at because it's just one of the few things that's a no-brainer: it saves lives, it saves money, it's bipartisan."

In May 2013, he was awarded the Champion of Recovery Award by the Office of National Drug Control Policy under the Obama Administration's . An ecstatic Matthew told The Hollywood Reporter at the time, "During my darkest times, I never could of imagined receiving an award at the White House."

Later, in 2015, Perry was given the Phoenix Rising Award by the famed rehab facility Phoenix House. He jad joed while receiving the award, "I'm an award-winning alcoholic. I shouldn't be getting an award; Phoenix House should be getting an award."


Thomas Lennon and actor/executive producer Matthew Perry speak onstage during 'The Odd Couple' panel as part of the CBS/Showtime 2015 Winter Television Critics Association press tour (Getty Images)

Matthew, who has not really enjoyed the level of success that he did with Friends in the later years, sadly learned about the cancellation of his third short-lived show The Odd Couple in the most shocking way. He is arguably the Friends cast member, who has enjoyed the least amount of success in showbiz and the fact that yet another show of his got canned could definitely have had a negative impact on him.

Just mid-November, 2017, a shocking new scandal Matthew. A porn star who goes by the name Maddy O'Reilly, has claimed that the Friends star tried to hit her up for pills. He reportedly sent her a series of messgaes, in which he basically asked her if she knew anyone who could "help me purchase some pills". 


The 27-year-old claims that Matthew randomly asked her out on a date, before enquiring if she could help hiim procure "Vicaden/Roxy's/oxys" - referring to Vicodin, Roxicodone and OxyContin. When she asked him how much he was willing to pay he said "a lot" depending on the type of painkiller available. 

"I was shocked, I knew he is a recovering addict but it was coming out of nowhere. Why would he ask me something like that? It's not like we partied or I have a reputation for partying," the pornstar told Daily Mail.

We do not know how genuine her claims are and Matthew is yet to respond to them. However, if Matthew is struggling with his addictions, we wish he would receive the care he needs.


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