Matthew Perry reveals why he broke up with Julia Roberts

The pair dated in the mid-90s

Matthew Perry
(Image credit: getty)

They had a romantic relationship on screen and off screen - and now Matthew Perry has revealed the real reason he called things off with Julia Roberts.

The Pretty Woman star dated the Friends actor in the mid-90s after Julia made a cameo on the American sitcom - but Matthew, who finally joined Instagram back in 2020, has said breaking up with her was all to do with his insecurities, not about disliking her.

The actor, who has openly talked about his struggle with alcohol and drugs while he appeared on Friends, opens up in his new memoir: Friends, Lovers and Big Terrible Things - of which The Times has published an excerpt. 

Matthew, who is strangely related to his former co-star Courteney Cox, writes in the book: "I did let her in, both figuratively and literally, and a relationship began," he said, about spending New Year's Eve with her family.

"We would already be a couple by the time we started filming the Friends Super Bowl episode."

However, as he was struggling with addiction he let his insecurities take over, revealing in his book: "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? I was not enough; I could never be enough; I was broken, bent, unloveable."

Matthew Perry and Julia Roberts

(Image credit: Photo by Liaison)

He went on to say how he thought about the break-up at the time:  "So instead of facing the inevitable agony of losing her, I broke up with the beautiful and brilliant Julia Roberts. 

"She might have considered herself slumming it with a TV guy, and TV guy was now breaking up with her. I can't begin to describe the look of confusion on her face."

Friends ran from 1994 to 2004 - making Matthew and his co-stars household names all over the world, but the fame and attention was too much for the Whole Ten Yards actor, and at one point Matthew says he can't remember filming three of the series.

The Friends reunion, AKA The One Where They Get Back Together, saw the whole cast back on the set and they spoke about their favourite memories. 

It was shown on Sky last year, with around 5 million people tuning in from the UK alone to watch it. 

Sarah Finley
Sarah is a freelance journalist - writing about the royals and celebrities for Marie Claire, fitness for Women's Health and Tech Radar and travel for the Evening Standard and Woman & Home. She covers a variety of other subjects too and loves interviewing leaders and innovators in the beauty, travel and wellness worlds for numerous UK and overseas publications. Sarah can normally be found trying out the latest fitness class or on a plane to an exotic destination - and of course, writing about them.