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By: Mick the Ram
Friends co-stars: Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer were all in attendance as loved ones of Matthew Perry gathered for his funeral at a service held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles, near to Warner Bros. Studios, on Friday 3 November.
Just one week on from the actors tragic and shocking death, the actual cause has been deferred by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner. The 54-year-old star was discovered by an assistant, unresponsive in a hot tub at his home in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles, but no foul play was suspected.
Law enforcement sources did report that prescription drugs were found, confirming that antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs and a COPD drug were present at the 54-year-old actor’s home.
An autopsy carried out in the middle of the week revealed that the initial toxicology tests showed that he did not have any fentanyl or meth in his system, although the full toxicology reports are still pending and could take some time to be returned, possibly as much as 6 months.
Lots of speculation
Inevitably there has been much speculation in the press and on social media, given Perry’s history with addiction and previous medical emergencies. The very fact that he was found in a hot tub raises issues immediately about drowning, or even heat stroke, given that previous surgeries that he’d had in the past gave an indication that he could be at a higher risk of a cardiac event.
The actor who played Chandler Bing in the sitcom, wrote in his memoir that in 2021 his heart stopped for around five minutes when he was anaesthetized before a planned surgery for recurring back pain in Switzerland.
Pickleball not thought to be connected
His last Instagram post showed an image of himself wearing headphones in the hot tub as nightfall was setting in. A caption accompanying it said: “Oh, so warm water swirling around makes you feel good? I’m Mattman!”
He apparently played several games of Pickleball earlier in the day and that probably prompted the dip in the hot tub. There is a line of thought that he may have passed out either as a result of earlier exertions on the court, combined with the heat of the tub, causing his body temperature to rise rapidly, but it is again just conjecture.
Constant battle with addiction
Perry had made no secret of his constant battle with addiction, openly recording that he developed one such addiction to Vicodin – an opioid painkiller drug – following a 1997 jet skiing incident. At its height he said he was taking a frightening 55 tablets a day, before eventually being admitted to rehab for the first time.
Throughout all his troubled times he announced that he had gone through an astonishing 14 surgeries and went into rehab a further 15 times. In total he wrote that he had spent somewhere between $7m and $9m battling towards sobriety.
Foundation in his name
Following his tragic death a foundation has been established in his name. The Matthew Perry Foundation has been set up to help people dealing with addiction. In an inaugural statement the group stated that in the spirit of his enduring commitment to helping others struggling with the disease of addiction, they were embarking on a journey to honour his legacy, guided by his own words and experiences, and driven by his passion for making a difference in as many lives as possible.
They went on to cite his desire to be remembered as someone who helped others with substance abuse, more so than his stardom gained through a popular sitcom.