Wendy Madison Bauer, who had been with Perry for over 10 years, spoke out on his tragic death for the first time on Saturday. Perry died on Monday after suffering a massive stroke. He was 52.
“I want to express my gratitude to everyone for the outpouring of love and support,” Bauer said in a statement to ET. “The countless, heartwarming stories of Luke’s generosity and kindness have been a great source of solace during this difficult time.”
“The past 11½ years with Luke were the happiest years of my life, and I am grateful to have had that time with him,” she added. “I also want to thank his children, family, and friends for their love and support. We have found comfort in one another and in the knowledge that our lives were touched by an extraordinary man. He will be dearly missed."
Perry kept his relationship with Bauer, 44, relatively private, though the pair did attend the GLAAD Media Awards together in 2017. He split from wife Minnie Sharp in 2003; they shared 21-year-old son Jack and 18-year-old daughter Sophie.
"A lot has happened in this past week for me. Everything is happening so fast. I made it back from Malawi just in time to be here with my family, and in the past 24 hours I have received an overwhelming amount of love and support," she wrote. "I cannot individually respond to the hundreds of beautiful and heartfelt messages, but I see them, and appreciate you all for sending positivity to my family and I."
"I’m not really sure what to say or do in this situation, it’s something you aren’t ever given a lesson on how to handle, especially when it’s all happening in the public eye," she continued. "So bare [sic] with me and know that I am grateful for all the love. Just, being grateful quietly."