Addiction comes at a cost in more ways than one. In a New York Times interview about his forthcoming memoir about his sobriety journey, Friends star Matthew Perry revealed the cost of having spent more than half of his life checking in and out of treatment centers and sober living facilities before he had even turned 50 years old. “I’ve probably spent $9 million or something trying to get sober,” he shared.
The ballpark figure comes after Perry opened up about the 2018 series of medical ailments that included pneumonia and an exploded colon, resulting in him spending time on life support and two weeks in a coma, followed by nine months with a colostomy bag and over a dozen stomach surgeries.
Out Nov. 1, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing digs deeper into Perry’s decades-long struggle with alcohol and drug addiction that permeated his day-to-day life. His dependency on alcohol, he has explained, began early in his Friends days, around the time he was launched into big-time Hollywood fame in his early twenties. At one point, Perry and the rest of the show’s ensemble cast were making $1 million per episode, but his cut was funneling into treatment.
“I married Monica and got driven back to the treatment center — at the height of my highest point in ‘Friends,’ the highest point in my career, the iconic moment on the iconic show — in a pickup truck helmed by a sober technician,” Perry revealed about the pivotal season 7 finale.
In the book, he opens up about how his castmates, with whom he spent ten total seasons on set, responded to the ebb and flow of his ongoing recovery. He recalled a time in which Jennifer Aniston confronted him “in a kind of weird but loving way” in his trailer, saying they all knew he was drinking again because they could all smell it on him. “The plural ‘we’ hits me like a sledgehammer,” he wrote, according to the Times.
“It’s a hideous disease, and he has a tough version of it. What’s not changing is his will to keep going, keep fighting and keep living,” Lisa Kudrow told the Times in a phone interview. “I love Matthew a lot. We’re part of a family. I’m basically ending this with ‘I’ll be there for you,’ but it’s true. I’ll always be there for him.”