The Friends alum looks back at his unrequited crush on his former costar in his forthcoming memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.
The Friends alum recounts what he says are the details of that bold night in his forthcoming memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing (out Nov. 1), revealing that he harbored an unrequited crush on his former costar at the time. Before his star-making turn on Friends, Perry starred opposite Bertinelli in the short-lived 1990 sitcom Sydney, centered on a young woman (Bertinelli) trying to make it as a private detective in Los Angeles.
Perry played Bertinelli’s younger brother on the show (which also happened to feature a theme song by Van Halen), but there was nothing familial about their dynamic. “I fell madly in love with Valerie Bertinelli, who was clearly in a troubled marriage,” Perry writes. “My crush was crushing; not only was she way out of my league, but she was also married to one of the most famous rock stars on the planet, Eddie Van Halen.” His feelings were so intense that he fantasized about Bertinelli leaving Van Halen for him.
Valerie Bertinelli and Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry and Valerie Bertinelli
| Credit: Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
“I was nineteen and lived in a one-bedroom apartment on Laurel Canyon and Burbank (called Club California, mind you),” Perry recounts. “But fantasies and first loves don’t know about real estate, they don’t know about real anything.” One night, while at Bertinelli and Van Halen’s home, Perry says he went for it with his costar.
“As the night progressed, it was clear that Eddie had enjoyed the fruits of the vine a little too hard, one more time, and eventually he just passed out, not ten feet away from us, but still,” he writes. “This was my chance! If you think I didn’t actually have a chance in hell you’d be wrong, dear reader — Valerie and I had a long, elaborate make-out session. It was happening — maybe she felt the same way I did. I told her I had thought about doing that for a long time, and she had said it right back to me.”
By the next day, however, Bertinelli “made no mention” of what transpired and behaved, “as she should have,” Perry writes, “like this was just a normal day.” He continues, “I quickly got the hint and also played the role I was supposed to, but inside I was devastated.” Perry endured “tearful” nights as a result, and, much to his relief, the show ultimately got canceled, “and I didn’t have to see Valerie anymore.”
Reps for Bertinelli didn’t immediately respond to EW’s request for comment on the excerpts.
Matthew Perry looks back at his unrequited crush on his former costar Valerie Bertinelli in his forthcoming memoir ‘Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing’
| Credit: Matthew Eisman/Getty Images
Perry also dives deep into his time on the hit sitcom Friends and his alcohol and opioid abuse in his memoir, sharing stories about his multiple brushes with death amid his addiction struggles. The actor recounts nearly dying in 2018, at the age of 49, after his colon burst due to overuse of drugs. “The doctors told my family that I had a 2 percent chance to live,” he previously shared. “I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and your lungs. And that’s called a Hail Mary. No one survives that.”
Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing hits bookshelves Nov. 1.