Julia Roberts opens up about Matthew Perry’s ‘heartbreaking’ death

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Julia Roberts is speaking out following the unexpected death of ex-boyfriend Matthew Perry. “The sudden passing of anybody so young is heartbreaking,” the Oscar winner – who dated Perry from 1995 to 1996 – told “Entertainment Tonight.” “I think that, you know, it just helps all of us just appreciate what we have and to keep going in a positive way as best we can.” Perry was found dead at his Los Angeles home on Oct. 28 of an apparent drowning at the age of 54. His cause of death has been “deferred” following an initial autopsy and a toxicology report is pending.

The “Friends” alum first met Roberts when she was offered a role in the post-Super Bowl episode of the hit sitcom. At the time, she agreed to do it only if she could be a part of Perry’s storyline. Perry and Roberts dated briefly in 1995 through 1996. “They were all so welcoming to me as just a kind of one-off character and it was a really fun time,” Roberts told ET about the spot, adding that she has “all good thoughts and feelings” about her stint on the sitcom.

Perry wrote about his brief romance with the “Pretty Woman” star in his 2022 memoir, “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing.” He initially sent Roberts, 56, three dozen roses with a note about how excited he was about having her on the show. The actress replied at the time by saying she wanted something besides flowers. “Her reply was that if I adequately explained quantum physics to her, she’d agree to be on the show,” he wrote. “The following day, I sent her a paper all about wave-particle duality and the uncertainty principle and entanglement, and only some of it was metaphorical.” Roberts was charmed and the two began a three-month courtship by daily faxes, which turned romantic.

“It wasn’t uncommon for me to read these faxes three, four, sometimes five times, grinning at that paper like some kind of moron. It was like she was placed on this planet to make the world smile, and now, in particular, me. I was grinning like some fifteen-year-old on his first date,” Perry remembered. “It was clear we were in deep smit.” The faxes evolved into phone calls that would sometimes last more than five hours. The two later rang in New Years 1996 together at her estate in Taos, New Mexico. Perry confessed that he felt like the “king of the world” alongside the “My Best Friend’s Wedding” star. However, his battles with drug and alcohol addiction held him back from continuing their relationship.

“Dating Julia Roberts had been too much for me,” he admitted. “I had been constantly certain that she was going to break up with me. Why would she not? I was not enough; I could never be enough; I was broken, bent, unlovable. So instead of facing the inevitable agony of losing her, I broke up with the beautiful and brilliant Julia Roberts.” He had convinced himself that Roberts was “slumming it” with him, adding, “I can’t begin to describe the look of confusion on her face.” Roberts went on to marry cameraman Danny Moder, with whom she shares three children. Perry dated a string of actresses including Lizzy Caplan and Lauren Graham and was briefly engaged to literary agent Molly Hurwitz.

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