Matthew Perry's Death Under Investigation Nearly 7 Months After His Untimely Passing

An autopsy report initially determined the late actor’s death to be “an accident with no foul play suspected.”

Actor Matthew Perry arrives at CBS, CW And Showtime 2015 Summer TCA Party at Pacific Design Center on August 10, 2015 in West Hollywood, California.
(Image credit: Getty/Axelle/Bauer-Griffin)

Nearly seven months after the late, great actor Matthew Perry passed away, authorities have opened up an investigation into the cause of his untimely death.

The iconic Friends actor died on Oct. 28, 2023 at his Los Angeles home. A subsequent autopsy report released on Dec. 15 determined that Perry died as a result of "acute effects of ketamine," The New York Times reported.

Other contributing factors included drowning and coronary artery disease.

According to the Associated Press, the Los Angeles police department is now working alongside the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to determine why so much ketamine was in Perry's system at the time of his death.

As The New York Times reports, Perry was undergoing ketamine infusion therapy to treat depression, and underwent a session a week and a half before he passed.

A post shared by Jennifer Aniston

A photo posted by jenniferaniston on

According to the December autopsy, the level of ketamine found in Perry's system at the time of his death "was equivalent to the amount that would be used during general anesthesia," The New York Times reports.

As the Associated Press reports, the medical examiner who performed Perry's autopsy said the actor's last ketamine treatment "wouldn't explain the levels of ketamine in his blood." Ketamine metabolizes in the body in just a few hours, studies show, and as the Associated Press notes a psychiatrist and an anesthesiologist were treating Perry around the time of his passing.

The recently opened investigation aims to determine whether or not Perry obtained the ketamine that caused his death illegally, and investigators are still trying to ascertain the source of the ketamine found in his system, TMZ first reported.

A post shared by Matt LeBlanc

A photo posted by mleblanc on

Perry was open about his past struggles with anxiety, depression, alcoholism and drug abuse. In his 2022 memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, the late actor wrote extensively about his addictions while rising to fame and starring in the most popular television show of its time.

"I married Monica and got driven back to the treatment center—at the height of my highest point in Friends, the highest point in my career, the iconic moment on the iconic show—in a pickup truck helmed by a sober technician,” Perry wrote, noting in the prologue that he spent much of his life in and out of rehabilitation centers.

“I lived half my life in one form of another of treatment center or sober living house," he said." Which is fine when you are twenty-four years old, less fine when you re forty-two years old. Now I was forty-nine, still struggling to get this monkey off my back."

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or substance abuse, please call SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), or text TALK to 741741.

Danielle Campoamor
Weekend Editor

Danielle Campoamor is Marie Claire's weekend editor covering all things news, celebrity, politics, culture, live events, and more. In addition, she is an award-winning freelance writer and former NBC journalist with over a decade of digital media experience covering mental health, reproductive justice, abortion access, maternal mortality, gun violence, climate change, politics, celebrity news, culture, online trends, wellness, gender-based violence and other feminist issues. You can find her work in The New York Times, Washington Post, TIME, New York Magazine, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, TODAY, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, InStyle, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Glamour, The Daily Beast, Mother Jones, Prism, Newsweek, Slate, HuffPost and more. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and their two feral sons. When she is not writing, editing or doom scrolling she enjoys reading, cooking, debating current events and politics, traveling to Seattle to see her dear friends and losing Pokémon battles against her ruthless offspring. You can find her on X, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and all the places.