Matthew Perry Recalls Marrying Monica on 'Friends,' Then Driving Back to Rehab

The 'Friends' star also opens about his expensive and difficult road to getting sober.

Matthew Perry's road to sobriety has been both challenging and expensive. Speaking with The New York Times in a recent interview, Perry reveals how much money he's spent battling his addictions.

"I've probably spent $9 million or something trying to get sober," he reveals.

The Friends alum details his long history with substance abuse, which he says began with drinking at age 14 and later having an addiction to painkillers which lead to multiple hospitalizations and medical emergencies.

According to Perry, he's now been sober since early 2021, shortly before shooting the highly publicized Friends reunion special for HBO Max, which aired in May 2021.

He also tells the NYT that after his Friends character, Chandler Bing, married Monica Gellar, played by Courteney Cox, in the NBC show’s season 7 finale, he was "driven back to the treatment center a pickup truck helmed by a sober technician."

Danny Feld/NBCU Photo Bank

"[I was] at the height of my highest point in Friends, the highest point in my career, the iconic moment on the iconic show," he says. "...When you’re a drug addict, it’s all math. I wasn’t doing it to feel high or to feel good. I certainly wasn’t a partyer; I just wanted to sit on my couch, take five Vicodin and watch a movie. That was heaven for me. It no longer is."

Perry also sits down with Diane Sawyer for an ABC News interview, and opens up about his addiction during the filming of the beloved sitcom, and how his co-stars tried to intervene.

In a recently released preview of the 53-year-old actor's upcoming interview -- slated to air Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC -- Perry reveals Jennifer Aniston was the one who reached out the most when his drinking spiraled out of control.

Perry -- who confirmed taking Methadone, Xanax and consuming a "full quart of vodka" a day in addition to 55 Vicodin a day -- recalls Aniston telling him, "We know you're drinking."

"Yeah, imagine how scary a moment that was," he tells Sawyer. "She was the one that reached out the most. I'm really grateful to her for that."

Back in 2021, Aniston said she didn't understand the "self-torture" Perry went through while on Friends.

"I didn’t understand the level of anxiety and self-torture [that] was put on Matthew Perry if he didn’t get that laugh, and the devastation that he felt,” Aniston said on the Today show. "[But it] makes a lot of sense."

In the interview with Sawyer, Perry also says he was "in a coma and escaped death narrowly."

The actor's opening up like never before ahead of the release of his memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, out Nov. 1.

Perry also opened up to People about his struggles with alcohol and opioids. He was 24 when he landed the iconic role of Chandler Bing, but Perry was already struggling with heavy alcohol use. The situation turned dire when he turned to Vicodin and got down to 128 pounds.

His addiction continued well past his time on Friends, and he faced a near-death experience just a few years ago as a result of his battle with addiction. Perry recalled suffering a gastrointestinal perforation at age 49 when his colon burst from opioid overuse. The actor fought for his life, spending two weeks in a coma and five months in the hospital, and had to use a colostomy bag for nine months. 

"The doctors told my family that I had a two percent chance to live," he told People. "I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and your lungs. And that's called a Hail Mary. No one survives that."



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