Almost 20 years before the death of Matthew Perry, his Friends co-star Jennifer Aniston wept at the thought of losing him. During the 2004 interview with Diane Sawyer, the iconic actress broke down after she was asked what the actor didn’t know about himself. “That he’s alright,” she replied, while dabbing her eye with a tissue and becoming visibly emotional.
“He struggled,” she recalled, addressing his yearslong battle with addiction. “And we didn’t know. We weren’t equipped to deal with it. Nobody had ever dealt with that. And the idea of ever losing him…” she trailed off, overcome by the thought. The comments came after Diane asked Jennifer what each of the cast members didn’t know about themselves, ahead of the iconic sitcom’s final episode.
Matthew died at the age of 54 after an apparent drowning at his Los Angeles home on October 28. The surviving cast members of the NBC sitcom — Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer, David Schwimmer, and Matt LeBlanc, took two days to grieve before finally releasing a public statement on the unimaginable loss.
“We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family,” the statement obtained by PEOPLE on October 30 read. “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.” The heartbreaking statement was signed by each of them.
In another interview by Diane Sawyer, Matthew himself opened up about the moment Jennifer Aniston confronted him with his addiction issues. “‘We know you’re drinking,’” Diane quoted Jennifer in the interview, which aired on October 28, 2022. “Imagine how scary a moment that was,” Matthew recalled.
He also revealed that Jennifer was the one who “reached out” to him “”the most” amid his lengthy battle. “I’m really grateful to her for that,” he said.