Matthew Perry’s death ‘still under investigation’ as authorities seek ketamine dealer

Investigators are still looking into who supplied Matthew Perry with ketamine, seven months after the drug was found in his system at the time of his death, according to reports.

The Friends actor battled substance abuse for decades, and had described himself as a “ready made addict”.

Perry, 54, was found dead in his hot tub at his Los Angeles home last October. Post-mortem toxicology reports revealed that the actor had a similar dose of ketamine in his system to what doctors would typically give to surgical patients.

After a medical examiner ruled his death an accident, the case was considered closed. But an investigation into the drug that played a part in Perry’s death is still underway, law enforcement sources told TMZ.

There remain two key questions for Los Angeles police and the Drug Enforcement Agency – who provided the drug, and under what circumstances.

Sources told the outlet that investigators have already interviewed key people with a history of substance abuse in Hollywood who might help them track down Perry’s ketamine dealer.

No arrests have been made so far, law enforcement told the publication.

Matthew Perry, pictured in 2006, with Friends co-star Courtney Cox (Getty)

A cardiac arrest 911 call was made on 28 October 2023 from Perry’s Pacific Palisades home and first responders found him unresponsive in his hot tub. The actor was pronounced dead at the scene.

Perry’s personal assistant, Kenny Iwamasa, was purportedly living with the star according to Iwamasa’s family. He was said to have discovered the actor face-down and unconcious in the water after running errands, according to the Daily Mail.

Just days prior to his death, Perry posted a picture of himself in the same hot tub to Instagram, with a caption: “Oh, so warm water swirling around makes you feel good?”

A toxicology report confirmed that he had died from “acute effects of ketamine”, despite initial speculation that the actor had drowned.

Perry had been undergoing ketamine infusion therapy as treatment for depression and anxiety more than a week prior to his death, according to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office. It was ruled that the ketamine in his system was not from his treatment, but from a secondary source.

Despite his wry wit on screen and being a source of laughter for millions around the globe, the actor faced a lifetime of addiction, having his first drink at the age of 14.

Following a jet ski accident in 1997, Perry became addicted to Vicadin, a powerful opiod-based painkiller. “I liked how it made me feel, and I wanted to get more,” he told People Magazine in the early noughties.

Matthew Perry (third from right) was crippld by addiction in the latter seasons of Friends (NBC)

What followed were stints in rehab: first in 1997, followed with a relapse in 2000. A year later, he was drinking vodka by the quart and arriving on set sleep-deprived and shaky, he added.

While filming the later seasons of Friends, Perry was perpetually drunk, high or hungover – sparking concerns from fellow cast members. Jennifer Aniston said the actor whiffed of spirits as they filmed the nineties sitcom together.

At his worst, Perry drank a bottle vodka per night, snorted cocaine, took opiates – including 55 Vicodin pills a day – and benzodiazepines, according to his memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.

Throughout the course of his life, he said he spent $9 million on his quest to sobriety, went to 6,000 AA meetings, and entered rehab a total of 15 times, he wrote in the memoir. By 2021, he claimed to have overcome his addiction.

Today, Perry’s legacy lives on with his Friends character Chandler Bing immortalised on screen, and his friends and co-stars still lamenting his loss.

On Sunday, Perry’s Friends co-star Courtney Cox said that she still “talks” to him and has “senses” that he’s still around her, nearly seven months after his death.

“I’m so thankful I got to work so closely with him for so many years,” she said during an appearance on CBS’ Sunday Morning on Sunday. “He visits me a lot, if we believe in that.”

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