close
close

Matthew Perry’s death is under investigation due to ketamine levels in the actor’s blood

An investigation has been opened into the death of Matthew Perry and how the ‘Friends’ actor was given the narcotic ketamine, which was believed to have played a role in his death.

LOS ANGELES – Authorities have opened an investigation into how Matthew Perry received the delivery of ketamine that killed him, police said Tuesday.

Los Angeles police are working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service on an investigation into why the 54-year-old “Friends” star had so much of the drug in his system, LAPD Capt. Scot Williams said in an email.

A deputy found Perry, 54, face down in his hot tub on Oct. 28, and paramedics who were called immediately pronounced him dead. His autopsy, released in December, found that the amount of ketamine in his blood was within the range used for general anesthesia during surgery. It was listed as the leading cause of death, which was ruled an accident with no foul play suspected, the report said.

Drowning and other medical problems contributed, the coroner said.

The investigation was first reported by TMZ.

People close to the actor told coroner’s investigators that he was undergoing IV ketamine therapy. The decades-old surgical drug has seen a dramatic increase in use in recent years as a treatment for depression, anxiety and pain.

But the medical examiner said Perry’s last treatment, a week and a half earlier, would not explain the levels of ketamine in his blood. The drug is typically metabolized within a few hours. At least two doctors treated Perry, a psychiatrist and an anesthesiologist who served as his primary care physician, the medical examiner’s report said. No illegal drugs or paraphernalia were found in his home.

Perry had years of addiction issues dating back to his time on “Friends,” when he became one of the biggest television stars of his generation for 10 seasons as Chandler Bing alongside Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer. from 1994 to 2004 on NBC’s megahit sitcom.

Drug-related celebrity deaths have in other cases led authorities to prosecute the people who supplied these drugs.

After rapper Mac Miller died of an overdose of cocaine, alcohol and counterfeit oxycodone laced with fentanyl, two of the men who supplied him with the fentanyl were convicted of distributing the drug. One was sentenced to more than seventeen years in prison, the other to ten years.

Two doctors and a manager of model and reality TV star Anna Nicole Smith were accused of conspiring to obtain her prescription drugs before her death in 2007, but they were not accused of causing her fatal overdose. All charges, except one count of fraud against one doctor, were ultimately dismissed.

And after Michael Jackson died in 2009 from a fatal dose of propofol, a drug intended only for use during surgeries and other medical procedures, and not for the insomnia the singer sought it for, his doctor, Conrad Murray, was convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter. Murray has maintained his innocence.

Back To Top