Keith Morrison on Remembering Stepson Matthew Perry: 'A Challenging Journey'

Exploring the unseen depths of a star's personal life.

by Zain ul Abedin
Keith Morrison on Remembering Stepson Matthew Perry: 'A Challenging Journey'
© Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Audible

In an emotionally charged episode of the "Today" show's podcast "Making Space," hosted by Hoda Kotb, "Dateline NBC" correspondent Keith Morrison shared heartfelt memories of his stepson, the beloved "Friends" star Matthew Perry.

The veteran journalist opened up about the profound impact of Perry's untimely death, expressing the indelible pain it has left on the family, particularly on Perry's mother, Suzanne. Morrison's candid reflection reveals the relentless nature of grief, a journey that he describes as being filled with constant reminders and new challenges that "assault your brain." The conversation took a sobering turn as Morrison detailed the tragic circumstances surrounding Perry's death in October.

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's office concluded that Perry's demise was an accidental result of "the acute effects of ketamine," compounded by factors such as drowning, coronary artery disease, and the effects of buprenorphine.

This revelation underscores the multifaceted nature of Perry's struggles, painting a complex picture of his final days.

Perry's Family Bond

Morrison provided an intimate glimpse into the dynamic between Perry and his mother, Suzanne, highlighting the deep bond that had formed between them as Perry approached the end of his life.

Their relationship, characterized by constant communication and unprecedented openness, offered a rare glimpse into the personal life of a man who was both a global superstar and a beloved family member. Morrison's anecdotes reveal a side of Perry that the public rarely saw, one of vulnerability and a desire for connection.

The narrative took a poignant turn as Morrison recounted the day Perry was found unresponsive in his pool, marking a tragic end to a life that Morrison feels was cut unjustly short. Perry's battles with addiction, which Morrison refers to as a "disease" that is "difficult to beat," highlight the broader issues of substance abuse and mental health that plague so many.

In response to their loss and in honor of Perry's memory, Morrison and Suzanne have initiated The Matthew Perry Foundation. This organization aims to provide support to agencies and organizations dedicated to assisting individuals struggling with addiction.

Through their grief, they seek to create a legacy of hope and support for those facing similar battles, emphasizing the need for compassion and understanding in the fight against addiction. This initiative not only honors Perry's memory but also serves as a beacon of light for those in the darkness of addiction, offering a path towards healing and recovery.

Matthew Perry