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Matthew Perry Foundation launches to help ‘others struggling’ with addiction

New York Times bestselling author Matthew Perry speaks about his book with Matt Brennan during the 28th Annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at the University of Southern California on April 22, 2023, in Los Angeles.    (Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
By Jami Ganz New York Daily News

A new foundation named for late actor Matthew Perry has been launched to help people battling drug addiction.

The creation of the Matthew Perry Foundation was announced Friday, nearly a week after the “Friends” star’s sudden death.

“The Matthew Perry Foundation is the realization of Matthew’s enduring commitment to helping others struggling with the disease of addiction. It will honor his legacy and be guided by his own words and experiences and driven by his passion for making a difference in as many lives as possible,” reads the mission statement on the charity’s website.

Perry’s representatives and the National Philanthropic Trust is sponsoring and maintaining the foundation and site. The 54-year-old actor, who had long been candid about his past struggles with substance abuse and alcoholism as documented in last year’s memoir, “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,” was committed to helping other addicts.

The Matthew Perry Foundation website highlights one of his 2022 quotes, which has been circulating in the wake of his death.

“When I die, I don’t want ‘Friends’ to be the first thing that’s mentioned — I want helping others to be the first thing that’s mentioned. And I’m going to live the rest of my life proving that,” he told Q with Tom Power last November.

The five-time Emmy nominee was alone when he was found dead in the hot tub at his Los Angeles home last Saturday. No illicit substances were found at the residence. Initial tests showed that neither fentanyl nor methamphetamine were in his system. Prescription anti-anxiety meds as well as anti-depressants and a medication for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which affects breathing, were found at the scene.

Perry was initially reported to have died of an accidental drowning, though his official cause of death has been deferred pending a full toxicology report that is expected to take several weeks.

Those close to the actor have come forward to say he was sober and in great spirits in recent weeks, even the day before he died.