“She always took time to listen to him, even when she was busy or had her own issues to deal with. Matthew feels that these people who stood by him when the chips were down, Jennifer included, saved his life without question,” a source exclusively reveals in the new issue of Us Weekly. “They gave him the will to carry on and get healthy, even though it took a huge amount of willpower of his own.”
The insider adds that Perry, 53, wanted to write his upcoming memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, to show others that overcoming addiction is possible.
“Matthew is focused on pushing his story out there as far and wide as possible because he wants to help others. … But the primary motive is closure and helping to inspire others who are dealing with the trauma of addiction,” the source explains. “Matthew wants them to know there is help and hope out there, it wasn’t too late for him and he’s the living embodiment that miracles can happen in that regard.”
The 17 Again actor has said that Aniston, 53, checked in on him more than any of his other Friends costars. “She was the one that reached out the most,” he told Diane Sawyer in a Friday, October 21, trailer for his upcoming ABC interview. “I’m really grateful to her for that.”
The Massachusetts native also revealed that the Dumplin’ actress was the first person to confront him about his drinking habits.
“Jen thought of the cast as her family. She still does, but back then even more so because they were together all the time and making it on the fame ladder together,” another source reveals in the new issue of Us. “They all had their demons and temptations to manage in one way or other, but for Matthew especially it boiled down to getting a grip on his addictions — something he struggled with, as he freely admitted, and it’s fair to say he was by far the most fragile member of the cast. Jen saw that, it worried her enormously and she made a point to check in on him whenever she could, on and off the set.”
Another Friends alum, Lisa Kudrow, wrote the foreward for Perry’s memoir, out November 1. “It’s a hideous disease, and he has a tough version of it. What’s not changing is his will to keep going, keep fighting and keep living,” Kudrow, 59, told the New York Times for a story published on Sunday, October 23. “I love Matthew a lot. We’re part of a family. I’m basically ending this with ‘I’ll be there for you’ [the Friends theme song], but it’s true. I’ll always be there for him.”
For more on Aniston’s friendship with Perry amid his addiction battle, watch the video above and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.