Matthew Perry: LA police launch probe into Friends actor's death after ketamine discovery

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Police have opened an investigation into the death of Friends actor Matthew Perry after it was found that he died from “acute effects of ketamine”.

The popular actor passed away last year, with fans and former co-stars in deep mourning after his death. Perry, 54, was found unresponsive in a hot tub at his Los Angeles home and was pronounced dead at the scene on October 28, 2023.

It was confirmed in December that “high levels of ketamine found in his post-mortem blood specimen” was a contributing factor in his death, with the LA County medical examiner’s office adding that other contributing factors included coronary artery disease and the effects of buprenorphine, a drug which is used in the treatment of opioid use disorder. Drowning was also listed as a contributing factor on his death certificate, with his death ruled an accident.

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The Los Angeles Police Department has now announced that it is working with the Drug Enforcement Agency and the US Postal Inspection Service on an investigation into where Perry obtained the ketamine from. Celebrity gossip site TMZ first reported the investigation, but this has now been confirmed by LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division Captain Scot Williams to the Los Angeles Times.

Perry was one of the most beloved actors of his generation, being known to millions of fans as the sarcastic and witty Chandler Bing in the hit US sitcom Friends from 1994 to 2004. He also appeared in shows such as Ally McBeal, The West Wing and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

He had been open about his substance addiction, writing in his 2022 memoir ‘Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing’ that his abuse of alcohol and drug began at the age of 14 and hit its height as his fame dramatically climbed during his time on Friends. He had been undergoing ketamine infusion therapy at the time of his death, according to the medical examiner, with his last infusion taking place around a week and a half before his death. The medical examiner noted that the ketamine found in his system could not have been traced from this infusion as it would normally disappear around three to four hours after the infusion.

It comes after Friends co-star Courteney Cox revealed that Perry still “visits” her even in death. She told CBS’s Sunday Morning: “I talk to my mom, my dad, Matthew. I feel like there are a lot of people that are… I think they guide us.”

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