Near-fatal ODs and love faxes to Julia Roberts: What Matthew Perry’s memoir reveals about a Hollywood scandal
The book was completed in April 2005. At that time, Matthew Perry stood by his story; then, in May 2006, he announced his separation from his wife, and for the first time publicly acknowledged that he had had a “sugar and spice” relationship with Roberts.
At the time, many observers thought Perry’s statements reflected an innocent man who had been seduced and played a trick on Roberts.
But those observers were wrong. Perry’s story was so different from Roberts’s that it might have been a real romance had it not been for Perry’s admissions of infidelity.
It turned out that Perry’s marriage to Roberts had been so troubled and his emotional condition was so bad that he decided to end the marriage. His statement to the media during his separation from Roberts is revealing. “I was in an awful situation. I wanted to break up the marriage but I just couldn’t. I love this woman with everything I have. The truth is I felt that I couldn’t stay with her forever, and she had to go,” he said.
At that time, Perry was in a terrible emotional state. His son, Jack, who was 13 that summer, had been in an accident when the car he was riding in in New Jersey veered off the road. Perry felt “a very deep guilt” over the accident that devastated Jack and caused extensive injuries to his son. Perry’s personal life was a mess. Two young men had made passes at him, one in which Perry had been the target of a “sexual act,” he said. The man, Perry’s former friend and business associate, had had an affair with Perry’s wife, Jennifer. Perry had gone to a therapist, who told him that the affair was “a huge problem in the marriage.” Another therapist told Perry that he had “an obsession with a certain part of Jennifer’s body.” Perry was so upset by the affair “that I had to stop dating,” he said.
Perry said that he and Roberts had parted ways in February 2005. When asked if he had ever considered divorce, Perry answered, “Not once.”
Perry also admitted that in one of his first interviews after his separation from his wife he said that he had a “relationship with another woman,” and that he “wanted to continue with it.”
Perry insisted that all of this was “