Following the advice of his doctors, the Friends star has been admitted to a rehabilitation hospital, according to a statement released by his publicist. It's still not known exactly why the 31-year-old actor--who has publicly struggled with alcohol and prescription-drug addiction--returned to rehab or in which hospital he is staying.
"Matthew has every intention of completing his treatment so that he can continue his dream of entertaining people and making them laugh," reads a statement from Perry's publicist, Lisa Kasteler. "He appreciates everyone's concern and thanks them for respecting his privacy."
The word marks yet another troubling setback for the smirking one-sixth of NBC's hit comedy, who recently endured a year's worth of illness and accidents. Last spring, Perry was hospitalized for acute pancreatitis, caused by years of alcohol and drug abuse. Soon after he was released from the hospital last May, Perry crashed his Porsche into the porch of a house in the Hollywood Hills.
Despite Perry's presumed absence from the set of Friends, NBC said in a statement that the series "will remain in production, and original episodes will continue to air as scheduled on NBC."
"All of us at NBC, Warner Bros. Television and Bright, Kauffman and Crane productions wish Matthew only the best," the statement reads. "Our thoughts and prayers are with him, and we look forward to having him back on the set of Friends."
Meanwhile, E! Online columnist Ted Casablanca reports that production will be shut down on Servicing Sara, the comedy costarring Perry and Elizabeth Hurley that had been shooting in Dallas and Los Angeles.
At least publicly, Perry had sought to reassure the public he was working to recover from a rough year. In October, Perry told Us Weekly that his life-in-the-fast-lane days were behind him. "In my case, it was hard living and drinking and eating poorly," he told the magazine, regarding his hospitalization for pancreatitis.
In 1997, Perry checked himself into the Hazelden drug treatment center in Minnesota for an addiction to prescription painkillers, but he insisted that "there were no pills involved" in his health problems last year. "I learned my lesson at Hazelden."
He also emphasized that he was working hard to turn his life around. "My twenties were about work--making enough money so that I could do what I wanted to do--and partying," he said. "I think--I hope--my thirties are going to be more about developing my social skills in a way I haven't done before so that I get married and have a child."
(UPDATED at 5:30 p.m. PT)