Matthew Perry Returns to Rehab

ByABC News
February 27, 2001, 3:23 PM

Feb. 27 -- Friends co-star Matthew Perry has returned to rehab for an undisclosed illness, his publicist confirmed Monday.

The actor, who portrays wisecracking 30-something Chandler Bing on the popular NBC series, has entered a facility at his doctors' urging.

"Matthew has every intention of completing his treatment so that he can continue his dream of entertaining people and making them laugh," publicist Lisa Kasteler said in a statement. "He appreciates everyone's concern and thanks them for respecting his privacy."

She did not specify the nature of Perry's illness, the treatment he was to undergo, or the location of the facility.

History of Substance Abuse

Just last year, Perry, 32, faced a battery of tabloid reports claiming he was suffering from everything from alcoholism, drug addiction, complications caused by a fad diet, or a serious condition that put him desperately in need of a liver transplant.

The actor himself told US Weekly last November that he was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis, a rare inflammation of the pancreas that was partially caused by too much alcohol and prescription pills.

"In my case, it was hard living and drinking hard and eating poorly," Perry confessed in the mag's Nov. 26 issue. "You play, you pay." The actor was quick to add, however, that he's no longer hooked on drugs: "There were no pills involved. I learned my lesson at Hazelden" (a Minnesota rehab center where Perry spent some time in 1997).

Perry said he became addicted to the prescription painkiller Vicodin after a personal watercraft accident and having his wisdom teeth pulled. He spent nearly three weeks kicking the habit.

But last spring, the addiction rumors returned to haunt Perry when he was hospitalized for the pancreatitis. It didn't help that he was involved in a car crash in Hollywood the same day he was released from treatment.

Perry denied that drugs or alcohol were involved in the incident. " I don't really know what happened I crashed into this porch," he told US Weekly, explaining that he'd swerved to miss a courier van in the middle of a narrow street.