Jennifer Aniston feels 'completely knocked her off her feet' by grief
Jennifer Aniston is ‘struggling’ after her Friends costar Matthew Perry’s sudden death and feels ‘completely knocked off her feet’ by grief
Jennifer Aniston is having a tough time grappling with the loss of her former Friends costar, Matthew Perry, after his sudden and unexpected death on October 28.
Less than a year after losing her father, John Aniston, the Emmy Award winner, 54, is reportedly devastated over Perry’s apparent drowning in a hot tub at his Pacific Palisades home.
‘Out of the remaining five, Jen and Courtney [Cox] are reeling the most, and Jen is probably the one who is struggling most acutely,’ a source told Page Six.
The insider continued: ‘It’s a second massive loss in less than a year, with the one-year anniversary of her dad’s death just around the corner. She still hasn’t fully regained her footing from that, and now this has just completely knocked her off her feet.’
Despite doing her best to ‘to regroup and recover… [Perry’s death has] been a completely devastating blow.’
Grieving: Jennifer Aniston is having a tough time grappling with the loss of her former Friends costar, Matthew Perry, after his sudden and unexpected death on October 28 (seen in1995)
Last year, upon confirming her dad’s passing, at the age of 89, she wrote on Instagram that he was ‘one of the most beautiful humans’ she ‘ever knew.’
In July, a source told DailyMail.com that Jennifer had been leaning on her ex-husband Justin Theroux, who she divorced in 2017, for support over her father’s death.
The insider explained the actor has been a close source of comfort, and was calling her almost every day to console her.
On Friday, she, Cox, 59, Lisa Kudrow, 60, David Schwimmer, 57, and Matt LeBlanc, 56, were seen saying their final goodbyes to Perry at Forest Lawn cemetery in Los Angeles.
The group were all dressed in black suits and somber as they comforted each other outside the church.
An onlooker told DailyMail.com: ‘Ms. Aniston was one of the first to arrive. She kept herself to herself. This is a high profile gathering.’
Perry’s tearful mother Suzanne Morrison, 84, and Dateline journalist stepfather Keith, 76, were both at the private event, as was his father John Perry, 82. Keith Morrison was one of the pallbearers.
The cemetery is opposite Warner Bros Studios, where Friends was filmed for 10 seasons, and is the final resting place of a galaxy of Hollywood stars – among them Carrie Fisher, Bette Davis, Stan Laurel, Buster Keaton, INXS frontman Michael Hutchence and Anne Heche.
Tough year: Less than a year after losing her father, John Aniston, at 89, the Emmy Award winner, 54, is reportedly devastated over Perry’s apparent drowning in a hot tub at his Pacific Palisades home; pictured in March 2023
‘Out of the remaining five, Jen and Courtney [Cox] are reeling the most, and Jen is probably the one who is struggling most acutely,’ a source told Page Six; seen in 1008
The service ended with a rendition of Peter Gabriel song ‘Don’t Give Up’ which includes the lyrics: ‘No fight left or so it seems, I am a man whose dreams have all deserted, I’ve changed my face, I’ve changed my name, But no one wants you when you lose.’
An onlooker told DailyMail.com: ‘There was not a dry eye in there. There were a lot of tears and laughter. Only close friends and family spoke.’
After the service, Perry was buried in a dark wooden coffin in a family-only ceremony.
Crowds of black-clad mourners stood around outside the church after the ceremony.
Some were seen embracing and comforting each other. Many wore dark sunglasses, to shield their eyes from the bright Californian sun.
Other stars buried in beautiful parkland include Brittany Murphy, Paul Walker, Buster Keaton, INXS rocker Michael Hutchinson and actress Anne Heche who died suddenly last year following a car accident.
Too much to handle: The insider continued: ‘It’s a second massive loss in less than a year, with the one-year anniversary of her dad’s death just around the corner. She still hasn’t fully regained her footing from that, and now this has just completely knocked her off her feet’
Last Monday, Aniston and the rest of the cast – Courtney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer and Lisa Kudrow – issued a statement describing their shock and sadness.
‘We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family,’ the cast said in a joint statement on Monday.
‘There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss.
‘In time we will say more, as and when we are able.
‘For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world.’
Perry’s cause of death remains unconfirmed, but initial toxicology reports found that there was no meth or fentanyl in his system when he drowned.
Painful: Despite doing her best to ‘to regroup and recover… [Perry’s death has] been a completely devastating blow’
Hit show: Cox (L), Aniston (C) and Perry pictured on a 2002 episode of Friends
Sticking together: On Friday, she, Cox, 59, Lisa Kudrow, 60, David Schwimmer, 57, and Matt LeBlanc, 56, were seen saying their goodbyes to Perry at Forest Lawn cemetery in Los Angeles
Throughout his life, Perry had been open about his struggles with drugs and alcohol.
The common narcotics were not found in Perry’s system during initial tests, according to a TMZ report. But more in-depth testing is underway and would show if the beloved actor had any prescription medication in his system.
When investigators responded to Perry’s home, they did not find any illegal drugs, but found prescription medication that was properly labeled and kept in storage bottles.
In his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, Perry wrote that after his colon exploded in 2018, he was prescribed opiates that he deemed insufficient to deal with his pain, prompting him to turn to street dealers to supply him with potentially fentanyl-laced OxyContin.
‘The street pills were something like $75 per pill, so I was giving the guy $3,000 at a time, many times a week,’ he wrote.
Gone too soon: Matthew Perry’s shock death in the hot tub at his Los Angeles home on Saturday prompted an outpouring of grief across the globe; seen in 2002
Sudden passing: Initial toxicology tests did not show fentanyl or meth in Perry’s system, but more in-depth testing is underway; Following his death fans placed place flowers and notes in front of the building known as the Friends apartment in New York City
After an initial investigation, the Los Angeles County coroner has deferred giving a cause of death, which may take weeks to determine. Those who knew him maintain that Perry was clean and sober at the time of his death.
Perry wrote in his memoir that he had spent $9 million trying to get sober
Perry wrote at the beginning of his million-selling memoir: ‘Hi, my name is Matthew, although you may know me by another name. My friends call me Matty. And I should be dead.’
On Sunday, Perry’s book was ranked No. 1 on Amazon, supplanting Britney Spears’ memoir.
As he filmed the sitcom-hit Friends in the 90s, many people were unaware of the struggle Perry had with addiction and an intense desire to please audiences.
‘Friends was huge. I couldn’t jeopardize that. I loved the script. I loved my co-actors. I loved the scripts. I loved everything about the show but I was struggling with my addictions which only added to my sense of shame,’ he wrote in his memoir.
‘I had a secret and no one could know.
‘I felt like I was gonna die if the live audience didn’t laugh, and that’s not healthy for sure. But I could sometimes say a line and the audience wouldn’t laugh and I would sweat and sometimes go into convulsions.’
Perry 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.’
Grieving: Perry’s Friends co-stars said they were ‘devastated’ by his death and that they had been more like family than cast mates
After an initial investigation, the Los Angeles County coroner has deferred giving a cause of death, which may take weeks to determine. Those who knew him maintain that Perry was clean and sober at the time of his death
He recalled in his memoir that co-star Jennifer Aniston confronted him about being inebriated while filming.
‘I know you’re drinking,’ he remembered her telling him once.
‘We can smell it,’ she said, in what Perry called a ‘kind of weird but loving way, and the plural ‘we’ hit me like a sledgehammer.’
A fellow member of Perry’s recovery program told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview Tuesday: ‘Matty wasn’t drinking. He was a big part of our AA community. He was attending meetings, speaking at meetings and was working with a handful of newcomers.
‘He had a sponsor and was a sponsor. He seemed to be doing well.’
The insider said the actor had been focused on helping others battling addiction and had recently expressed interest in sharing his story through public speaking events.
‘Matty said he wanted to return to universities and speak about alcoholism. That was his gift. He could speak so well and motivate people,’ the source added.
‘It was important for him to reach the younger generation and spread his Don’t Give Up message. He really lived by those words.
Perry recalled in his memoir that co-star Jennifer Aniston confronted him about being inebriated while filming; seen in 1995
‘He always made people laugh, even in meetings. But he was also spiritual, not religious, but spiritual. He walked the talk and knew this was his mission. To help other people, to give them hope.
‘Matty will forever be the definition of hope because he never, ever gave up. He turned his life around and helped countless people in the program. More than he could imagine.’
In an interview with DailyMail.com, the woman seen lunching with the late actor at the Bel Air Hotel the day before he died said he was so committed to sobriety, he was reluctant to order a Diet Coke due to concerns about caffeine – which can be an addictive substance.
Model and entertainment reporter Athenna Crosby, 25, also told how Perry had been full of plans for the future.
He dreamed of making an autobiographical movie about his life, with Zac Efron in the title role – while he would make a cameo appearance as a therapist.
The glamorous brunette told DailyMail.com: ‘I don’t think he had any desire to get back into drugs and alcohol.
‘I think he was so proud to finally be over that hump because he openly struggled with addiction for decades, and he was in and out of rehab as recently as the last couple of years.
‘He was relieved that he finally felt it was behind him, and he was trying to do everything to fight that.
‘While we were having lunch, he refused to touch the drink menu. He was saying that he’s gotten really into fitness and pickleball and he wants to get all his friends into it.
‘I think he was really serious about revamping himself into a whole new man.’
She added: ‘He was a little shy to order a Diet Coke because that’s caffeine, and it’s one more thing that some people might struggle with.
‘But then eventually he said, ‘I’m actually doing really good, and this is just a little treat to myself’.
‘He was concerned about anything that could compromise his health. That’s something that he took really, really seriously.’
Crosby, who met the actor ‘at the start of Fall’ after being introduced by a mutual friend, said the lunch they shared was the first they had enjoyed.
She told how Perry had invited her for a meal to discuss her career and said he gave her advice on how to handle fame and warned her to be careful with the pain meds she will get during an upcoming wisdom tooth operation – saying that those drugs were his gateway into addiction.
She told DailyMail.com: ‘That was the first lunch that I had had with him. I had met him before in person and talked to him a little bit, but that was really the first lunch that I had had with him.
‘It’s just so crazy that he happened to pass away the next day because I did not know him that well, and I happened to be getting to know him while we were at lunch.
‘I was asking him questions about himself, and he was so open. He was such an open book telling me so many different things. It felt like I had known him for so long, and he really just made the experience very positive.
‘I thought, ‘oh, great. This is somebody that I can have in my life who is a really good person that I can trust’. And then he’s gone the next day.’
Crosby said she discovered Perry had passed away after seeing a news report, and told DailyMail.com she is devastated that he never got the chance to put his plans into action.
She said: ‘He wanted to start his foundation to help people struggling with substance abuse, whether that be alcohol or drug addiction.
‘He also really wanted to have a movie made about his life. He was an actor and he wanted to get back into it.
‘And he wanted to have Zac Efron play him, and he wanted to make a cameo of him as a counselor or a therapist, sort of giving advice to the character playing him.
‘He had a very clear idea in mind of how he was going to take this circumstance and transform it into a story and use the medium of storytelling to reach people and really use his talents for that.
‘I really hope that those closer to him and his contemporaries and the industry can make that happen.’
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