22 May 2024

Matthew Perry's death under investigation over ketamine level found in actor's blood

10:23 am on 22 May 2024
(FILES) Actor Matthew Perry attends the 2003 TV Land awards at the Palladium theatre in Hollywood on March 2, 2003. Matthew Perry, one of the stars of smash hit TV sitcom "Friends," has been found dead at his home, US media reported Saturday October 28. He was 54.

Friends star, Matthew Perry, died at the end of last year, aged 54. Photo: CHRIS DELMAS / AFP

An investigation has been opened into the [death of https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/501707/matthew-perry-laid-to-rest-in-los-angeles-cemetery Matthew Perry] and how the Friends actor received the anesthetic ketamine, which was ruled a contributing factor in his death.

Los Angeles Police Captain Scot Williams said in an email that the police department was working with the Drug Enforcement Agency and US Postal Inspection Service with a probe into why the 54-year-old star had so much ketamine in his system when he died in October. The investigation was first reported by TMZ.

Perry was found unresponsive in the hot tub of his Los Angeles home. His autopsy, released in December, found that the amount of ketamine in Perry's blood was in the range used for general anesthesia during surgery. The drug is sometimes used to treat depression.

The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner said in the autopsy report that Perry also drowned in "the heated end of his pool," but that it was a secondary factor in his death, deemed an accident.

According to Perry's autopsy, people close to the actor told investigators that he was undergoing ketamine infusion therapy, an experimental treatment used to treat depression and anxiety. But the medical examiner said that his last treatment 1 and a half weeks earlier wouldn't explain the levels of ketamine in Perry's blood. The drug is typically metabolized in a matter of hours.

Perry was among the biggest television stars of his generation when he played Chandler Bing alongside Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004 on the megahit sitcom Friends.

- AP

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