Matthew Perry Apologizes After Questioning Why Keanu Reeves … – PEOPLE

Tracey Harrington McCoy is a celebrity news writer at PEOPLE Digital.
Matthew Perry is clearing the air.
Earlier this week — and ahead of the release of his new upcoming memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing — several excerpts of the book were released by Variety and The New York Post, with both outlets sharing sections where he talks about Keanu Reeves.
In one section, Perry, 53, is talking about his friendship with the late actor River Phoenix and writes, “River 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?”
But the Friends actor now says he misspoke.
In a statement to PEOPLE, Perry says: "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."
Reeves is cited again in the upcoming book when Perry writes about the death of comedian Chris Farley. “His disease had progressed faster than mine had. (Plus, I had a healthy fear of the word ‘heroin,’ a fear we did not share),” Perry writes. “I punched a hole through Jennifer Aniston‘s dressing room wall when I found out. Keanu Reeves walks among us.”
The statement made in Perry's book caused quite a stir on social media, with several celebrities tweeting in support of Reeves.
Lynda Carter wrote, “Come on… Keanu Reeves is like one of those frozen cakes. Nobody doesn’t like him!”
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West Side Story actress Rachel Zegler shared her support of Reeves, writing, “personally thrilled that keanu reeves walks among us”
Speaking in PEOPLE's cover story last week, Perry explained his decision pen his memoir, available Nov. 1, now
"I wanted to share when I was safe from going into the dark side of everything again," he told PEOPLE. "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."
Perry opens up in his memoir about his addiction issues.
RELATED VIDEO: Matthew Perry Opens Up About His Addiction Journey with a New Memoir: 'I'm Grateful to Be Alive'
When Perry was first cast on Friends at age 24, his alcohol addiction was just starting to surface. "I could handle it, kind of. But by the time I was 34, I was really entrenched in a lot of trouble," he admitted to PEOPLE. "But there were years that I was sober during that time. Season 9 was the year that I was sober the whole way through. And guess which season I got nominated for best actor? I was like, 'That should tell me something.'"
At one terrifying point during his Friends reign, Perry was taking 55 Vicodin a day and was down to 128 pounds. "I didn't know how to stop," he said. "If the police came over to my house and said, 'If you drink tonight, we're going to take you to jail,' I'd start packing. I couldn't stop because the disease and the addiction is progressive. So it gets worse and worse as you grow older."
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While he prefers not to disclose how long he's currently been sober, he does still count each day. "It's important, but if you lose your sobriety, it doesn't mean you lose all that time and education," he says. "Your sober date changes, but that's all that changes. You know everything you knew before, as long as you were able to fight your way back without dying, you learn a lot."
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.
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