Matthew Perry’s assistant and ‘best friend’ shares poignant post after star’s funeral

Matthew Perry’s assistant and ‘best friend’ Briana Brancato shared a simple but moving post to her social media hours after the Friends star's Hollywood funeral.

Briana, 34, was reportedly one of the late actor's closest friends, and took to her Instagram Stories after he was laid to rest at the Forest Lawn cemetery in the Hollywood Hills on Friday, 3 November.

The pretty personal assistant shared a photo of a tall outdoor fire heater lighting up a tree at the Hotel Bel-Air, where Matthew was spotted enjoying dinner just a few days before his death.

She captioned the photo with a simple "peaceful" and tagged the famous Hollywood hotel.

The emotional funeral ceremony for Matthew, who was found dead in the jacuzzi at his Los Angeles home on 29 October, was held earlier in the day and received a huge turnout of friends and loved ones.

His Friends co-star Jennifer Aniston was first to arrive and was joined by the show's other big names, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc.

After learning of her late boss's tragic, personal assistant Briana shared an emotional tribute to the comedy actor, who played Chandler Bing in the hit sitcom, calling him a "genius" and saying he'd "forever be in my heart".

Alongside a montage of photographs of Briana and Matthew, she wrote: "I've expressed my deepest gratitude to him on numerous occasions, not only for guiding me into a career I cherish but also for allowing me to take care of him for 7 years. Along w[ith] the countless other experiences I'm thankful for.

"From witnessing him in his genius to sharing in his worldly adventures living around the world, he took me on a remarkable journey. My heart is heavy, but celebrating my memories is the most profound way to honor his legacy.

"I hope that up there, in the great beyond, Mattman is sending us signs. We truly need them. You'll forever be in my heart. I love you Matty."

Rumours have circulated in the past that Briana and Matthew were dating, but neither ever confirmed a relationship.

In Matthew's memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, Matthew described a close friend he met while staying in a rehab clinic, who he called "Erin", and many strongly believed it was a pseudonym from Briana.

He wrote: "I'd met her two years earlier, at another rehab where she had been working at the time. I didn't get sober back then, but I saw how wonderful she was in every way and promptly stole her from that sober living rehab and made her my assistant, and she became my best friend."

On Friday, Briana also posted a link to the Matthew Perry Foundation, launched by his friends after his death to help other people battling an addiction.

The Chandler Bing actor had spoken openly about his struggles with alcohol and drugs, saying he first became addicted to painkillers after a jet skiiing accident in 1997.

Following its launch, a statement from the Foundation said: “The Matthew Perry Foundation is the realization of Matthew's enduring commitment to helping others struggling with the disease of addiction.

“It will honour his legacy and be guided by his own words and experiences and driven by his passion for making a difference in as many lives as possible,' the statement announcing the foundation declared.”

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