Matthew Perry yields to backlash, will strike Keanu Reeves’ name from future editions of memoir

Actor and recovering addict Matthew Perry has heeded the backlash faced from the “stupid” and “mean thing” he did to Keanu Reeves and explained how he intends to make up for it.

The Los Angeles Times held its 28th Annual Festival of Books over the weekend and Perry joined the gathering at the University of Southern California for a sit-down chat about his 2022 memoir, “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing.” While speaking with moderator and Times’ deputy editor for arts and entertainment Matt Brennan, the 53-year-old actor addressed a negative remark about Reeves that future copies will no longer include.

“I said a stupid thing. It was a mean thing to do,” Perry said, referencing his lament over the tragic deaths of talented young actors that slighted not only Reeves’ career but his existence.

“I pulled his name because I live on the same street. I’ve apologized publicly to him. Any future versions of the book will not have his name in it,” the actor insisted.

In the book, Perry wrote, “River [Phoenix] was a beautiful man, inside and out — too beautiful for this world, it turned out. It always seems to be the really talented guys who go down. Why is it that the original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger die, but Keanu Reeves still walks among us?”

The scathing line was later echoed, “His disease had progressed faster than mine had. (Plus, I had a healthy fear of the word ‘heroin,’ a fear we did not share). I punched a hole through Jennifer Aniston’s dressing room wall when I found out. Keanu Reeves walks among us.”

As previously reported, the “Friends” star’s memoir chronicles his battle with substance abuse that culminated in a near-death experience at 49 years old when he had spent “two weeks in a coma and five months in the hospital and had to use a colostomy bag for nine months.”

“I wanted to share when I was safe from going into the dark side of everything again,” he told People magazine. “I had to wait until I was pretty safely sober — and away from the active disease of alcoholism and addiction — to write it all down. And the main thing was, I was pretty certain that it would help people.”

The actor ultimately spent around $9 million combating substance abuse which led him to a point where he took 55 Vicodin a day and weighed only 128 pounds.

On the inclusion of Reeves’ name in the book, Perry had also explained ahead of publication, “I’m actually a big fan of Keanu. I just chose a random name, my mistake. I apologize. I should have used my own name instead.”

The fact that the line had made it to print resulted in an upswell of support for Reeves, including from Golden Globe-winning actress Rachel Zegler who wrote, “personally thrilled that keanu reeves walks among us.”

Perry went on to add, “If I run into the guy, I’ll apologize. It was just stupid.”


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