Matthew Perry, 'Friends' actor, says in new memoir he almost died at 49 due to opioid overuse

Chandler Bing actor says he's 'safely sober'

ByMarianne Garvey, CNN, CNNWire
Thursday, October 20, 2022
Matthew Perry book: 'Friends' actor describes addiction in new memoir
Actor Matthew Perry describes his struggle with addiction in his new memoir. He played Chandler Bing on "Friends."

CHICAGO -- Matthew Perry is "safely sober" and ready to tell his story.

The "Friends" star, who played the lovable Chandler Bing on the show, has written a memoir called "Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing," which is set for release on Nov. 1. In it, he tells the story of his life and addictions, saying he's finally in a place to talk about it, CNN reported.

"I wanted to share when I was safe from going into the dark side of everything again," Perry tells People of the book. "I had to wait until I was pretty safely sober - and away from the active disease of alcoholism and addiction - to write it all down. And the main thing was, I was pretty certain that it would help people."

Perry reveals in the book that due to addiction, he nearly died at age 49 when his colon burst from opioid overuse. He was in a coma for two weeks and spent five months in the hospital.

He details his alcohol addiction during "Friends"

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"I could handle it, kind of. But by the time I was 34, I was really entrenched in a lot of trouble," Perry told the publication, adding that he was sober during Season 9.

He said of his castmates: "It's like penguins. Penguins, in nature, when one is sick, or when one is very injured, the other penguins surround it and prop it up. They walk around it until that penguin can walk on its own. That's kind of what the cast did for me."

Perry admits to going to rehab 15 times and that he's "pretty healthy now."

"What I'm most surprised with is my resilience," he said. "The way that I can bounce back from all of this torture and awfulness. Wanting to tell the story, even though it's a little scary to tell all your secrets in a book, I didn't leave anything out. Everything's in there."

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