Jennifer Aniston breaks silence on ‘brother’ Matthew Perry’s death

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By Dan Sears

Jennifer Aniston is remembering her “Friends” co-star Matthew Perry, who died on Oct. 28 at the age of 54.

The “Morning Show” star wrote on Instagram Wednesday in a lengthy and emotional tribute: “Oh boy this one has cut deep… Having to say goodbye to our Matty has been an insane wave of emotions that I’ve never experienced before.”

She continued: “We all experience loss at some point in our lives. Loss of life or loss of love. Being able to really SIT in this grief allows you to feel the moments of joy and gratitude for having loved someone that deep. And we loved him deeply. He was such a part of our DNA.”

“We were always the 6 of us. This was a chosen family that forever changed the course of who we were and what our path was going to be.”

She went on: “For Matty, he KNEW he loved to make people laugh. As he said himself, if he didn’t hear the ‘laugh’ he thought he was going to die. His life literally depended on it. And boy did he succeed in doing just that. He made all of us laugh. And laugh hard. In the last couple weeks, I’ve been pouring over our texts to one another. Laughing and crying then laughing again. I’ll keep them forever and ever.”

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Aniston added “Matty, I love you so much,” while concluding the heartbreaking tribute.

“I know you are now completely at peace and out of any pain. I talk to you every day… sometimes I can almost hear you saying ‘could you BE any crazier?’” she continued. “Rest little brother. You always made my day.”

Aniston, 54, played lovable fashion enthusiast Rachel Green, who lived across the hall from Perry’s wisecracking Chandler Bing, on NBC’s “Friends” from 1994 to 2004.

Off screen, Perry confessed he had a young crush on Aniston, who was married to Brad Pitt from 2000 to 2005 and Justin Theroux from 2015 to 2017.

Perry wrote in his 2022 memoir, “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,” that he asked Aniston out before they started working together on “Friends.”

“Back then I got two jobs in one day — one was ‘Haywire,’ an ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’-type show and the other was a sitcom. So I called Jennifer and I said, ‘You’re the first person I wanted to tell this to!’” he recalled in the book.

“Looking back, it was clear that this made her think I liked her too much or in the wrong kind of way…and I only compounded the error by then asking her out,” he added. “She declined (which made it very difficult to actually go out with her), but said that she’d love to be friends with me, and I compounded the compound by blurting, ‘We can’t be friends!’”

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Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry attend the 1995 NBC Fall Preview.
Photo by Ron Davis/Getty Images
Aniston and Perry attend the 47th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept. 9, 1995.
Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Perry and Aniston attend the “Kissing a Fool” Westwood premiere on Feb. 18, 1998 at the Mann Plaza Theatre.
Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

But friends they were on the “Friends” set — so much so that Aniston confronted Perry about his alcohol and drug problems, which grew after he had a jet ski accident in 1997.

Perry recounted how Aniston visiting his trailer made him realize that his addiction wasn’t a secret.

“‘I know you’re drinking,’ she said,” Perry wrote. “I had long since gotten over her — ever since she started dating Brad Pitt, I was fine — and had worked out exactly how long to look at her without it being awkward, but still, to be confronted by Jennifer Aniston was devastating. And I was confused.”

“‘How can you tell?’ I said. I never worked drunk. ‘I’ve been trying to hide it …’” he responded.

“‘We can smell it,’ she said, in a kind of weird but loving way, and the plural ‘we’ hit me like a sledgehammer,” Perry wrote.

“‘I know I’m drinking too much,’ I said, ‘but I don’t exactly know what to do about it.’” he replied.

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Perry, Aniston and David Schwimmer on a 1996 episode of “Friends.”
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection
Aniston, Perry and Courteney Cox on a 1997 episode of “Friends.”
Everett Collection / Everett Collection
Aniston makes a funny face as she sits with Perry in between takes on the set of “Friends” on Sept. 12, 2003.
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Perry and Aniston attend a benefit in 2002.
Perry, Aniston and Lisa Kudrow attend the 29th Annual People’s Choice Awards in 2003.

In an interview with Diane Sawyer in 2004, Aniston grew emotional as she confessed how the cast was not “equipped” to deal with his addiction.

“He struggled,” she explained of Perry.

Perry was found unresponsive in the hot tub of his Los Angeles home Saturday.

TMZ reported that anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs and medication for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were discovered inside Perry’s house, but no illicit drugs were found at the scene.

Perry and Aniston reunited for the 2021 “Friends” reunion special — six years after Aniston didn’t invite Perry to her 2015 wedding to Theroux.

“I wasn’t invited. So what can you do?” Perry mused.

The Post reached out to Aniston’s reps for comment.

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