Matthew Perry says he spent about $9 million getting sober

Matthew Perry’s memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing comes out next week. The book is a raw look at Matthew’s drug and alcohol addiction and his struggle to get sober. Last week, we learned that the GI perforation that almost killed him was caused by ingesting too many Oxycontin. Matthew also admitted to going to rehab about 15 times. In his interview with The New York Times, he revealed that those rehab stays and all his other efforts to get sober have cost him something to the tune of $9M.

Matthew Perry says in a recent interview with The New York Times that he spent a literal fortune to get sober.

The Friends alum, 53, noted the estimated seven-figure sum he’s shelled out on his path to sobriety in the Sunday interview while promoting the upcoming release of his memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing.

“I’ve probably spent $9 million or something trying to get sober,” Perry said. The actor also revealed that he recently celebrated 18 months of sobriety, which would indicate he was newly sober for the popular Friends reunion special, which aired in May 2021.

Perry previously opened up to PEOPLE about the new book and his decades-spanning journey to getting off drugs and alcohol, explaining that “everything starts with sobriety.”

“Because if you don’t have sobriety, you’re going to lose everything that you put in front of it, so my sobriety is right up there,” Perry said. “I’m an extremely grateful guy. I’m grateful to be alive, that’s for sure. And that gives me the possibility to do anything.”

[From People]

Not to over-simplify it but that’s a lot of money. Matthew’s vague about the amount, “I’ve probably spent $9 million or something trying to get sober,” but I’ll bet his manager or accountant has given him an idea of what his addiction cost him. A stay at Passages runs between $80,000 – $111,000, so 15 stays there would be close to $2M. Maybe he went out of state or overseas for anonymity. Plus, therapy, legal and medical bills, I’m sure he could get to $9M pretty quickly. It breaks my heart to think of what happens to all the addicts who don’t have Friends money to see it through to get fully sober like Matthew did. But I’m glad Matthew did see it through because lord knows even those with money don’t make it either. And I applaud him for being so honest about all of this. I don’t think it was easy for him to so and he’ll probably receive criticism, but I’m sure he’ll help someone out there as well. Since that’s his goal, it’ll be worth it, I imagine.

Matthew said that in addition to money, he relied heavily on his both lower and capital “f” Friends. He said the famously tight-knit cast rallied around him, propping him up when he needed it. And while they were patient, his issues didn’t go unnoticed. When Matthew talked to Diane Sawyer, he said that Jennifer Aniston was the first Friend to confront him on his problems. But he said that Jennifer was the one who reached out to him the most during his recovery and that’s he’s, “really grateful to her for that.”

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Photo credit: People, NBC News and Getty Images

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35 Responses to “Matthew Perry says he spent about $9 million getting sober”

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  1. Size Does Matter says:

    Friends money is a drop in the bucket compared to Sackler money, the bastards who should pay for every Oxy addict’s recovery.

    • TheVolvesSeidr says:

      This ^ x 100000000 The Sackler’s should rot in a hell filled with overflowing porta potties for eternities plural.

  2. Sue E Generis says:

    At first I felt very supportive of him but then I read something he supposedly wrote in his book that was really alarming. Apparently he wrote something like, ‘Why are great thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger dead while someone like Keanu Reeves is still walking around’.

    I haven’t read it myself. It was someone quoting what he wrote. He supposedly made the same type of comment (Keanu should be dead) more than once in his book. Have any Celebitches read it and can confirm?

    • C says:

      What the actual f*ck. Seriously???

    • Andrea says:

      Yeah, I read this too and it left a really bad taste in my mouth. It makes him appear extremely nasty and bitter.

    • susiecue says:


    • Nonartistic Diane says:

      I heard this too. If it’s true then its a disgusting thing for him to say. Keanu just minds his own business and lives his life. What the hell…

      • zinjazin says:

        It seems to be tru I just googled it. That is just so crazy?!? Maybe ut is dome ill thought out attempt at being edgy/joking/ getting headlines?
        I cant believe ge would say something like that snd mean it. Has to be to be provocative, its just so bad. Lots of people just adores Keanu.

    • Concern Fae says:

      My take on that is that Keanu and River were great friends and from what I heard at the time, had fairly similar drug habits. So of three druggie greats, why is Keanu still here? It may be bad phrasing that excludes Keanu from the compliments, but pointing out that he is lucky not to have faced a public reckoning for his drug use isn’t out of place.

      • zinjazin says:

        Concern fae,yes that would make sense, could be a misunderstanding. He will probably come out and adress it since it is all over the net rn.
        Also I apologize for my previous post no spellcheck.

      • Twin Falls says:

        How did his editor not see how that would be perceived? Why are any of us here, sure. But of alllllllll the Hollywood celebrities he could have analogized Keanu is a terrible choice.

        Unless all publicity is good publicity.

      • C says:

        It’s a horrible phrasing of a sentiment that shouldn’t have been uttered outside of his own head.
        And frankly it’s extremely telling as to where he is in his recovery if this is really what he wrote.

      • bettyrose says:

        Keanu has been to hell and back. It’s not Mathew’s place to call him out on that. Actually, it’s not okay to call someone out for surviving. Keanu probably feels the weight of that himself. I wasn’t going to read this book anyway. I’m not especially interested in MP, but gah.

    • DiegoInSF says:

      Disgusting, chinless doesn’t mention him in one but two places, Keanu walks among us after Chris Farley died, what a weirdo, hope his book flops.

  3. Sierra says:

    Sorry but I have gone completely off Matthew.

    How dare he criticise Keanu Reeves and even wish that Keanu had died instead of River Phoenix?

  4. Jilly says:

    The Keanu Reeves comments are crazy. He does it twice in his book. Just Google Matthew Perry on Keanu Reeves and you’ll see it all. It’s bonkers.

    • sarah says:

      So I googled Matthew Perry on Keanu Reeves and the only thing that came up was less reputable news agencies reposting this. Nothing from a reputable sources. I’m not saying he didn’t writing it, just that I’m waiting for the actual quote before I judge.

      • ML says:

        @Sue E Generis’s comment sent me straight to Google as well @Sarah. It’s seemingly 2 quotes from MP’s book, and it’s just those same 2 quotes all over the place. I presume that the book itself clarifies MP’s strong feelings or he’ll be forced to comment on it. Shocking to read!
        As for MP, $9 million IS a bleepload of money, and he almost didn’t make it. @SizeDoesMatter is right: the Sacklers should be footing the bill for this. We need to realize that actual prevention, mental help (lots of addictions are related to mental health), and medical support has to be more valued.

  5. Unicorn with a Sweet Tooth says:

    Therapy, legal and medical bills, sober companions, detox centers, rehabs—-all at top dollar–definitely add up.

    I think he was trying to be cheeky with the Keanu Reeves stuff, and it’s not translating well on paper.

    I like this raw and (I’m hoping) honest Matthew Perry. I hope he stays clean and sober.

    • C says:

      If it’s as quoted, there’s nothing cute and cheeky about the Keanu Reeves thing and I can’t see any way it would be so in person vs paper, it’s cruel and gross especially considering what Reeves himself has gone through.

  6. greenmonster says:

    i just googled the Keanu Reeves quote and I am baffled. Maybe it is taken out of context or it was said in some sort of Chandler Bings-like joke? Maybe Keanu is in on it? I can’t wrap my head around someone truly disliking Keanu.
    Sure MP could be a complete a-hole but maybe it is set up by marketing to get people talking? Keanu is so well-liked that this would effect MP’s entire career (or what’s left of it) and probably even books sales (once it is known, that he actually meant it – who would want to buy the book and therefore support MP?!?).

    • Bettyrose says:

      I’m having a hard time seeing any cheeky way to say something so horrible. Does he think Keanu Reeves didn’t also struggle with River’s death? I’ve never really thought of Mathew Perry at all. I watched the show but didn’t follow any of the actors. Jennifer Anniston’s personal life was in the media but I never went out of my way to follow any of them. So it’s easy enough to cancel MPerry. Shrugs. He’s not on my radar anyway.

  7. HeyKay says:

    I had pre-ordered his book on Amazon.
    After reading the first few excerpts from it, I cancelled my order.
    I enjoy Matthew Perrys’ work on Friends and he is talented.
    But after C-19 and overwhelming loss of family in the past 5 years I just can’t process any more.

    He has had a huge fight on his hands during his drug addiction and I was shocked to hear the life threatening health problems he has repeatedly gone thru.

    If he made those Keanu Reeves statements, that is really awful. And if he was trying to be funny, an editor should have redlined that BS.
    After all he’s been thru, which without his wealth would not have survived, he should realize how dang lucky he is! Comments like that have no place in recovery. Way outta line!

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      Yes. This will not be easy, even after 18 months sober. His brain has basically not been free of substances for his entire adult life. It’s also very easy to overdose after a period of sobriety because your tolerance has changed (see, Philip Seymour Hoffman).

      I doubt Keanu Reeves is bothered by the comment, but it’s very revealing about Perry. Reportedly, he made a similar comment when Chris Farley died. It suggests some sort of hang-up on his part, like he can’t wrap his head around the idea that smart, talented people can get lost in addiction. I wonder if he’s aware of how that thinking can hinder recovery.

  8. Mle428 says:

    I went on a weird double date to play frisbee golf with my ex, Matthew Perry and one of his former girlfriends. He was so nice and down to earth. This was in the early ’00’s before Friends ended.

  9. Coco says:

    Seriously what is his issue with Keanu Reeves? I get that he’s sad that his friend died, but to wish death upon somebody else because he feels Keanu is not an original thinker or a good actor.

  10. jferber says:

    Issues, man, issues. Hope he stays sober.

  11. FilmTurtle says:

    Barely 18 months sober and he’s already written a book? Feels like something he should be doing privately until he’s on steadier ground. Good luck to him.

  12. Sharon says:

    NO ONE puts Keanu in the corner. Be gone with you, you mere mortal!!!

  13. HeyKay says:

    Just read the latest excerpt on DM.
    MP goes into details about how he made out with Valerie Bertanelli while Eddie Van Halen was passed out not 10′ from them. The details he goes into, jeez.

    Holy cats, man.
    I am done with Matthew Perry. No way do I want to know anymore about his life or choices.

  14. Sue says:

    I’m just thankful that my health insurance covered my stay in a hospital and subsequent counseling sessions to get sober. I am thankful for sobriety every day. To others living sober, hey, it’s not easy and you are doing amazing! Addiction is such a d*ck, and if you don’t have it, I’m very happy for you. Runs in my family. I live in a family where we “don’t talk about things” and I didn’t know until I was well into my addiction to alcohol that it runs deep in my family. Nobody told me. It sucks. I am sure as heck telling my daughter about it when she’s old enough so she can make an informed decision when it comes to drinking.

  15. BeGoneOrangeCheeto says:

    I don’t think he’s really “better” yet. My cousin was an addict and before he turned things around, he was booted out of his own brother’s wedding because he was nasty to his SIL. This strikes me as something similar. It’s a shame and I hope he finds peace as my cousin did before he was murdered in 2020.

  16. Anabelle Bronstein says:

    He still looks awful and I think probably has a long road ahead of him in his sobriety journey. I read some article where he mentioned that he was ready to get married and have kids but I think any halfway intelligent woman would run for the hills before getting seriously mixed up with this guy. No money is worth dealing with all that baggage and he just looks unwell. I think he should just plan for a quiet life, enjoy his money and focus on sobriety. no need to bring a woman and child into it.

    • DiegoInSF says:

      He looks like chucky on that cover and even that is photoshopped to high hell, I mean he has probably ruined his looks beyond repair, even if he became super healthy from now on there’s no way he’d look healthy

  17. justwhy says:

    I think we need a separate post to unpack his recent Keanu Reeves comment! Yikes!