A new foundation has launched following the death of the actor Matthew Perry.
The 54-year-old, best known for his role in US hit sitcom ‘Friends’ in the 1990s and 2000s, was found dead in his Los Angeles home in late October.
He struggled with alcohol and drug addiction, publicly acknowledging his battles in his 2022 memoir.
A statement on the Matthew Perry Foundation’s website, launched on Friday, says “the realisation of Matthew’s enduring commitment to helping others struggling with the disease of addiction.”
The Matthew Perry Foundation was launched by the National Philanthropic Trust (NPT), a nonprofit that works with donors, foundations and financial institutions. On its website, it is self-described as “a leader in donor-advised funds (DAFs) and one of the largest grantmaking institutions in the United States.”
Matthew Perry’s foundation is already taking public donations, though it is unclear as to how much the NPT or other institutions may have provided. Some $25 billion has been granted to organisations worldwide by the NPT.
Matthew Perry reportedly received $20 million a year in syndication and streaming revenue generated from ‘Friends’. That income, considered residual payments, are considered the actor’s personal property. His residual cash flow stream is now presumably owned by his estate, according to CNBC International.
Charlie Douglas, a certified financial planner and president of HH Legacy Investments in Atlanta, told the American-based broadcaster that Perry may have named a trust — and not an individual — as the beneficiary of his residual payments. The payments would flow to the trust and the trust would stipulate who received them.
Trusts are private and therefore public information is difficult to obtain, meaning the wider public may never know who inherits Perry’s ‘Friends’ income.
US media reports also suggest that the Friends actor had hoped to continue helping people who suffered from substance abuse during his lifetime. According to People, he was making plans to establish a foundation to help those with addiction issues, a decade after he founded Perry House, a facility for men wishing to become sober, which ran for two years.
Perry joins other celebrities to have had foundations set up in their name following a life of addiction. The family of British singer Amy Winehouse established the Amy Winehouse Foundation after the pop star died from alcohol poisoning in 2011. After US actor Heath Ledger died from an accidental overdose in 2008, his mother created the foundation ScriptWise.
Shafi Musaddique is a news editor at Alliance magazine.