Friends superstar Matthew Perry has told about his extraordinary love life for the first time and revealed his flings with some of the world's most beautiful ladies.
He secretly dated Julia Roberts after she bombarded him with flirty messages, enjoyed a raunchy tryst with Gwyneth Paltrow in a cupboard and had such a crush on Jennifer Aniston it led to awkward scenes while filming the US sitcom, The Sun reports.
Now 53, Matthew says his life changed for ever when he was cast as wisecracking Chandler Bing.
He soon found himself being hounded by dazzling Pretty Woman star Julia, now 54.
To his amazement, she only agreed to appear in the Friends' Super Bowl episode in 1995 if she could be in a storyline alongside Matthew.
The series co-creator told him to get in touch with her and send flowers.
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Matthew Perry and Julia Roberts on the set of Friends. Picture: Liaison.
He explained: "I had to woo her. I wanted something a tad flirty. I sent her three dozen red roses and the card read, 'The only thing more exciting than the prospect of you doing the show is that I finally have an excuse to send you flowers'.
"Her reply was that if I adequately explained quantum physics to her, she'd agree to be on the show.
"The following day I sent her a paper all about wave-particle duality and entanglement, and only some of it was metaphorical.
"Not only did Julia agree to do the show, but she also sent me a gift: Bagels — lots and lots of bagels."
The pair went on to exchange saucy messages via fax every day for three months before the actor finally turned up on his doorstep.
Julia Roberts with her former fiancee, and fellow actor, Benjamin Bratt in 2001.
In Matthew's searingly honest new memoir Friends, Lovers And The Big Terrible Thing, serialised in The Times and Sunday Times this weekend, he writes: "This was pre-internet, pre-cell phones. All our exchanges were done by fax.
"And there were hundreds. Three or four times a day I would sit at my fax machine and watch the piece of paper slowly reveal her next missive.
"Some nights I would find myself out at a party sharing a flirtatious exchange with an attractive woman and cut the conversation short so I could race home and see if a new fax had arrived. Nine times out of ten, one had.
"I was grinning like some 15-year-old on his first date. And we had never even spoken yet, much less met each other.
"Then, early one morning, something changed. Julia's fax veered on romantic. 'Call me', it said, and her phone number was at the bottom.
"Five and a half hours later, as we came to a close, I realised I wasn't nervous any more. After that we couldn't be stopped: We were falling. I wasn't sure into what, but we were falling.
"That Saturday there was a knock on my door.
"I let her in, both figuratively and literally, and a relationship began. We would already be a couple by the time we started filming the Friends Super Bowl episode."
Matt went on to reveal how Julia whisked him by private jet to her mountain hideaway in New Mexico to celebrate New Year's Eve 1996 and he met her family.
But plagued by his demons and insecurity, Matthew dumped her two months later.
He said: "Dating Julia Roberts had been too much for me. I had been constantly certain that she was going to break up with me.
"I could never be enough; I was broken, bent, unlovable. So instead of facing the inevitable agony of losing her, I broke up with the beautiful and brilliant Julia Roberts.
"I can't begin to describe the look of confusion on her face."
Matthew Perry also revealed that he had a crush on Jennifer Aniston before the pair starred on the hit sitcom.
However, he briefly dated Julia Roberts who guest-starred on the show.
Plagued by demons
Matthew also reveals how he struggled with global fame and talks about the crippling addictions that nearly killed him.
He battled with booze and drugs after being prescribed painkillers after a jetskiing accident in 1997.
At one point he was taking 55 Vicodin tablets a day, and by the time he was 49 his opioid addiction caused his colon to burst, leaving him in a coma for two weeks.
Matthew has had 15 rehab stints and says the 14 scars from his stomach operations serve as a permanent reminder to stay sober.
In 2001 he found himself in rehab watching Julia scoop the Best Actress Oscar for Erin Brockovich.
Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer in a 1999 episode of Friends. Picture: NBC.
He said: "As she made her speech, a voice rose in that room, in that rehab, urgent, sad, soft, pleading, filled with longing and tears. I made a joke. 'I'll take you back', I said. 'I'll take you back'.
"The whole room laughed, though this was not a funny line in a sitcom. This was real life now.
"Those people on TV were no longer my people. No, the people I was lying in front of, shaking, covered in blankets, were my people now."
That doomed romance with the Pretty Woman star was not the first time Matthew blew his chances with a movie beauty.
Jennifer Aniston, 53, also turned him down before he was cast alongside her and Courteney Cox, 58, Lisa Kudrow, 59, Matt LeBlanc, 55 and David Schwimmer, 55.
He explained: "Jennifer and I had met through mutual acquaintances about three years earlier. I was immediately taken by her (how could I not be?) and I got the sense she was intrigued too."
James Michael Tyler as Gunther with Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston on Friends. Picture: NBC
Back then, around the time they had first met, he had just been offered roles in two TV shows and was eager to share the news.
He recalled: "I called Jennifer and I said, 'You're the first person I wanted to tell this to'.
"Bad idea. I could feel the ice forming through the phone. Looking back, it was clear that this made her think I liked her too much or in the wrong kind of way … and I only compounded the error by asking her out.
"She declined but said that she'd love to be friends with me, and I compounded the compound by blurting, 'We can't be friends!'"
Although they appeared to be best mates on screen, Matthew's crush on his stunning co-star made filming uncomfortable.
It's not healthy
He said: "Our hellos and goodbyes became awkward. And then I'd ask myself how long can I look at her? Is three seconds too long?
"But that shadow disappeared in the hot glow of the show. That and her deafening lack of interest."
Another of Brad Pitt's exes did fall for his charms.
Shortly before Friends took the TV world by storm in 1994, Matthew met Gwyneth Paltrow, 50, at a party in Massachusetts.
He said: "We slipped off into a broom cupboard and made out.
"This was the last summer of my life when I could make out at a party with a beautiful young woman called Gwyneth and no one, save Gwyneth and I, cared."
Actors Gwyneth Paltrow and Matthew Perry shared a party pash shortly before Friends aired in 1994.
From there Matthew flew to Las Vegas to bond with his castmates before they were catapulted into the glare of the spotlight — transforming their lives beyond recognition.
He said: "We got drunk and gambled and wandered through the casinos, unknown to anyone, a million miles from what was coming."
The cast were so close that they shared a dressing room — despite all being given their own.
Though he achieved his dream of becoming famous, he had such little confidence that he would constantly crack jokes so people would like him.
And as well as his addictions, he struggled when the live audience didn't laugh during filming.
Mathew Perry's revealing memoir will touch on his experiences filming Friends, and his recovery from addiction. Picture: Lam Yik Fei/ Getty Images for Global Talents Media Group.
He said: "I had a secret, and no one could know. Making the shows could be painful. I felt like I was gonna die if (the audience) didn't laugh. It's not healthy.
"I would sometimes say a line and they wouldn't laugh, and I would sweat and go into convulsions.
"If I didn't get the laugh I was supposed to get, I would freak out. I felt like that every single night.
"This pressure left me in a bad place and I also knew that of the six people making that show, only one of them was sick."