Stephen A. Smith Shares Personal Struggles, Honors Late Matthew Perry



by FAIZAN CHAUDHARY

Stephen A. Smith Shares Personal Struggles, Honors Late Matthew Perry
© Cindy Ord/GettyImages

The recent passing of beloved actor Matthew Perry has left the entertainment industry in mourning. Perry, famed for his portrayal of Chandler Bing on the iconic TV series "Friends," was a central figure in television for a decade.

In the wake of his death, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith offered heartfelt commentary on his own show, delving into his personal struggles and highlighting the need for empathy toward those grappling with addiction. During a poignant segment on “The Stephen A.

Smith Show,” Smith shared his reflections on an interview Perry once had with Diane Sawyer, where the actor openly discussed his battle with Vicodin addiction. Smith connected this to his own experience, recounting a time when he was prescribed Vicodin following a knee surgery.

“Watching Matthew Perry's interview with Diane Sawyer really struck a chord with me,” Smith said. “He talked about taking 55 doses of Vicodin in a single day. I took just one, and it made me feel heavenly. I was at peace, completely comfortable.

But when my doctor told me I had to stop taking it after my surgery, I almost broke down in tears”.

Compassion for Struggles

Smith went on to express a deep sense of understanding and compassion for those who, like Perry, have struggled with addiction.

“This is not about making excuses or justifying drug use. It’s about realizing that some addictions are more understandable than others, and that people like Matthew Perry deserve our empathy,” he emphasized.

“My heart truly goes out to him, his family, and everyone who loved him”. Adding a new dimension to the conversation, Smith touched upon Perry’s tendency to internalize his pain. “When you listen to people talking about him, it becomes clear that he bore the brunt of his pain himself.

He was fighting his own battles, away from the public eye,” Smith noted. “A person like that, someone who doesn’t lash out at others but deals with their pain privately, deserves our compassion and understanding”.

With these words, Smith not only paid his respects to a lost star but also opened up a dialogue about the importance of compassion in the face of addiction, encouraging a thoughtful and empathetic approach to such serious issues.

Stephen A. Smith