Here's How Matthew Perry Really Spent His Friends Fortune

Matthew Perry and the rest of the cast of "Friends" struck gold when they landed their roles in the widely acclaimed '90s series. Leveraging the show's popularity, Perry, along with Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, and Lisa Kudrow, famously negotiated with NBC as a collective so they could all get paid equally. Each of them pocketed a whopping $1 million per episode by the end, a remarkable jump from the reported $22,500 they each earned per episode when the series started. At the time of his death, Perry had a net worth of $120 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

While Perry had various projects after "Friends," much of his wealth was the result of his time on the show. USA Today reported that each cast member continues to rake in $20 million annually from residual income. Perry even joked about it during an interview with Andy Cohen when asked if he still receives "bountiful checks," quipping: "Well, yesterday I bought Iowa."

While Perry was financially comfortable, he had to allot a good chunk of his fortune to overcoming addiction, both for himself and others who faced similar struggles. The actor admitted to spending millions on treatments and surgeries, while also building and running a sober living facility.

Matthew Perry spent millions fighting addiction

Matthew Perry was one of the few actors who candidly spoke about his experience overcoming substance abuse. In his memoir "Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing," which was released a year before his untimely death, he opened up about going in and out of rehab, even in the middle of filming "Friends." He said that he spent roughly $7 million just trying to get better. "I've been in a mental institution, gone to therapy twice a week for thirty years, been to death's door," he wrote. 

He also shared that in 2002, he was so intoxicated while filming the movie "Serving Sara" that he had to shell out over half a million to salvage his parts. "I needed to make real amends... so I recorded my slurred parts for the entire movie, which meant I looped the entire movie," he penned. "Then I committed to doing the most press possible in the history of press, bending over backward to make things right."

In a later interview with The New York Times, the actor revised his estimate and shared that he likely spent $9 million on treatments. But he told People that he'd rather be penniless than go through the same turmoil again. "The fact that I would trade it all to not have this disease is true," he admitted. "But I don't belittle how fun the experience has been on 'Friends.' And the money was amazing. Just the creative experience of being on the show probably saved my life."

Matthew Perry also invested in real estate and ran a sober living facility

Apart from devoting his resources to his recovery, Matthew Perry also spent a substantial amount of his fortune on real estate. Just months before he died, Architectural Digest reported that he bought a home in Hollywood Hills for around $5 million, marking his second property in Los Angeles, in addition to the $6 million home he had in Pacific Palisades. Previously, he owned a $35 million penthouse that was eventually sold to Rihanna.

His most notable real estate investment was a house in Malibu, which he converted to a sober living facility called Perry House in 2013. He sold it two years later but intended to relocate it elsewhere. "That was a Malibu beach house, and it was too expensive to run and the business didn't really work," he told The Hollywood Reporter at that time. "So we're looking at smaller places in Santa Monica and Studio City. I'm keeping the business going because I like it; it's a good way to help alcoholics."

While it's unclear whether he got around to it, Perry never stopped helping people with addiction. A huge part of the reason why he wrote his memoir was to give hope to others. "There's a way out," he told People when asked about his message to those still struggling. "And if they have my phone number, I'd be more than happy to show them."