Matthew Perry’s death investigated by LAPD in connection with ketamine level found in Friends actor’s blood

22 May 2024, 05:25 | Updated: 22 May 2024, 06:29

Actor Matthew Perry was found unresponsive in the pool of his LA home in October
Actor Matthew Perry was found unresponsive in the pool of his LA home in October. Picture: Getty

By Flaminia Luck

A police investigation into the death of Friends star Matthew Perry will continue after it was ruled an accident.

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Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to the PA news agency that it is working with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on the "open investigation" into the circumstances of Perry's death, which a medical examiner concluded was from the effects of ketamine.

It will reportedly look at how the general anaesthetic was obtained by the actor, who played Chandler Bing in hit US sitcom Friends.

Perry, 54, was found "unresponsive in the pool at his residence" in Los Angeles on 28th October.

Perry was found unresponsive at his LA home
Perry was found unresponsive at his LA home. Picture: Alamy

The County of Los Angeles Department of Medical Examiner said in December that Perry died from the "acute effects of ketamine" and said the "manner of death is accident".

A post-mortem examination concluded that "drowning, coronary artery disease and the effects of buprenorphine" - which is described as an "opioid-like drug used in the treatment of opioid addiction as well as acute and chronic pain" - were contributing factors.

The report said Perry was receiving "ketamine infusion therapy for depression and anxiety", with his last known treatment one and a half weeks before his death, and suggested he had been "reportedly clean for 19 months" from drug use.

"The ketamine in his system at death could not be from that infusion therapy," the ruling said.

The report was not able to specify the "exact method of intake" in Perry's case.

Read More: Matthew Perry was 'happy' the day he died, Jennifer Aniston says, as she reveals she spoke to Friends co-star that day

The actor was open about his battle with substance abuse and addiction and had set up a sober living facility for men with similar issues.

A foundation set up in his name to help those struggling with addiction has previously drawn support from his Friends co-star Jennifer Aniston, who played Rachel Green.

The actor was honoured during the in memoriam segment at the Bafta TV Awards ceremony earlier this month, and at the Emmy Awards in January.

Perry's Friends co-stars led tributes for the actor when his death was announced
Perry's Friends co-stars led tributes for the actor when his death was announced. Picture: Getty

Perry's funeral was held in November and was attended by fellow Friends stars Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, Courtney Cox, David Schwimmer, and Lisa Kudrow.

Following his death in October, fans and friends paid tribute to Perry, with many laying flowers outside the iconic Friends apartment building in New York.

Perry became a worldwide star after appearing in Friends, and was nominated for an Emmy.

He starred in all 234 episodes across 10 seasons from 1994-2004.He joined his fellow co-stars for a reunion special hosted by James Corden in 2021.

Read more: Prince Harry ‘turned down King’s offer to stay in royal residence’ during UK trip because it ‘didn't come with security'

His memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, was released towards the end of last year.

Perry detailed in the book that he spent weeks in a coma due to drug abuse.

He also revealed that he struggled with drug and alcohol addiction while he starred on Friends.

"I loved everything about the show but I was struggling with my addictions which only added to my sense of shame," he wrote.

"If I didn't get the laugh I was supposed to get I would freak out. I felt that every single night. This pressure left me in a bad place. I also knew of the six people making that show, only one of them was sick."

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