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Friend Who Saw Matthew Perry Before Death Addresses ‘Relapse’ Speculation

via ABC News

Matthew Perry’s friend, Athenna Crosby, reflected on the final hours she spent with the “Friends” star before his death.

Crosby emphasized that Perry was sober and acted normal during their lunch meeting, dispelling speculations of a relapse.

She expressed her devastation upon hearing about his death and mentioned the difficulty for those close to him in trying to understand why it happened.

“He was 100% sober when he passed,” Crosby pressed. “I mean, I can’t know what exactly he was thinking or feeling. I can only share my experience. And, of course, he was his own person that maybe he had said, done or thought of things the day that he passed that I might never come to know.”

“In the interaction that I had with him, he was extremely positive, sober, acting normal, spoke very well, did not give me any impression that he was under drugs or alcohol of any kind. So, I think people are speculating that this was a relapse situation. I just want to defend him and say that it was not.”

“Not only is it hard to hear that somebody greatly admired passed away, but it’s eerie to hear that somebody you just spoke to passed away,” Crosby said.

“I think it was extra difficult for those people, whether that be his friends or family leading up to his final moments, overthinking everything that they said or thinking everything that they did, looking for clues or signs as to why this may have happened. And, honestly, that’s not something that we’ll really ever know why.”

“I was just having lunch with a friend and did not think anything of it, did not feel like there was anything coming,” she recalled. “I didn’t suspect anything. He was completely normal. So, I later went home and did not think about it until the next day when I heard the news.

“I am now recalling all of the details about it just because the situation has been so tragic. And I’ve been kind of thinking like, ‘OK, was there anything that I, I guess, should have noticed or was there anything that stuck out to me?’ And honestly, no, there wasn’t. He was so normal. He ordered a cheeseburger and had a Diet Coke, and really just a normal day like any other day.”

Crosby clarified that she and Perry were not romantically involved and mentioned his desire to work with Zac Efron again.

“I think a lot of that speculation is coming from the place that people really cared about Matthew, and they really wanted him to find love. And they really wanted him to have a family and have children because that’s something that he came out and said that he really wanted,” Crosby said.

“So, of course, you know, people are thinking that that could be anyone. And I happen to be the last person to be seen with him. But we were not really involved like that.”

Perry had plans to start a foundation to help people with recovery and wanted to make a biopic, with Efron potentially playing a younger version of him.

“The discussion began with him talking about his recovery and his advocacy work and how he really wanted to start a foundation to help people on their road to recovery and generously donate money from his success in the industry to helping other people recover,” Crosby recalled.

“He also talked about the medium of storytelling being the way that he wanted to do that as well. Given that he was an actor, he loved being creative, loved being in the movies and TV shows.”

“So, of course, the next natural course of action would be, ‘Let’s make a biopic,’ and that’s something that he wanted to do. He mentioned that he had worked with Zac Efron before. He loves Zac Efron.”

“I don’t know the extent to which they kept in touch with their friendship, but all I can say is that the memories that he had of working with him were so positive for what he was telling me, that he wanted to have him play a younger version of him once more.”

Crosby hopes to keep Perry’s dreams alive and mentions his struggles with addiction, as detailed in his memoir.

“I want to see that all of his dreams come to fruition,” Crosby expressed.

Perry died from an apparent drowning in a hot tub, with no drugs or foul play involved.

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