The actor recalls in his new memoir “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,” according to an excerpt published by the Times of London, that Roberts expressed interest in appearing on “Friends” but “she would only do the show if she could be in [Chandler’s] story line.”
At the urging of “Friends” creator Marta Kauffman, Perry sent Roberts three dozen roses and a witty card, in an effort to “woo” the “Pretty Woman” star to take the job.
“Thus began a three-month-long courtship by daily faxes. This was pre-internet, pre-cell phones – all our exchanges were done by fax. And there were many; hundreds,” Perry writes, going on to describe how “three or four times a day I would sit by my fax machine and watch the piece of paper slowly revealing her next missive.”
Soon, the faxes “veered romantic,” leading to “five-hour” phone conversations before the pair had even met face to face.
Finally, Roberts showed up at Perry’s door.
“When I opened it, there she was, there was a smiling Julia Roberts on the other side. I believe I said something like, ‘Oh, that Julia Roberts,’” Perry says in the memoir, recalling his Chandler-style reaction.
From there, the pair quickly began a relationship and were a couple when Roberts appeared in the “Friends” episode that was set to air after the Super Bowl.
Perry goes on to describe some of the sweeter moments during their short-lived romance – including a visit to Roberts’ family in Taos, New Mexico, for New Year’s 1996 – but “two months later, I was single.”
“Dating Julia Roberts had been too much for me. I had been constantly certain that she was going to break up with me. Why would she not?” he writes.
Alluding to his crippling issues that he identifies as the core of his past addictive behavior, Perry adds: “I was not enough; I could never be enough; I was broken, bent, unloveable. So instead of facing the inevitable agony of losing her, I broke up with the beautiful and brilliant Julia Roberts.”
CNN reached out to a representative for Roberts for comment.
In his memoir, Perry also discusses his struggles with alcohol and addiction and what ultimately led him to sobriety.
“I wanted to share when I was safe from going into the dark side of everything again,” Perry recently told People of the new book. “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.”
“Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,” by Matthew Perry, will be published by Headline on November 1.