The Wild, Wild Web: Kristy and Matthew Perry

Friend or Fantasy?

"I came across Matthew Perry's page and added him as a friend," says Kirsty, "and within about a day he added me back. He would answer right away any questions I would ask about Friends, his career, where he grew up. That made me believe that yes, this could be he. Pretty fast it became very intense, where we would message a dozen times a day, complimenting me. He sent me flowers a few times. He would tell me that he loved me. I would tell him that I loved him. A lot of times Matthew would talk about how much better things would be when we were together. When my husband found out and demanded that I end the relationship, it was very difficult to resist, so my husband and I separated."

Sitting down with Kirsty for the first time, Dr. Phil says, "I have so many questions I don't know where to start. Why did you think that Matthew Perry would be on Facebook chatting you up for 11 months?"

"In the back of my mind I flip-flopped back and forth," she explains. "I did have a lot of conversations that weren't specifically about him being Matthew Perry. That wasn't what it was based on. It was more about our everyday " or my everyday life."

"Do you have friends in your real-world life?" asks Dr. Phil.

"Yes," Kristy says with a smile.

"Did they say, 'Come on. You're not talking to Matthew Perry. This is some nut job telling you they're somebody they're not'?" he asks.

"Yes, they did say that," she says. "It got to a point where I was so involved, I wanted to find out the truth, and I wanted to find out who it was and why they would invest so much time, you know, talking to me."

"But, you bought into the fantasy, though," Dr. Phil says skeptically.
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"At first," she says, "absolutely."

"And, you were married," says Dr. Phil. "And what impact did this have on your marriage?"

"I had had problems in my marriage before this," she says. "My marriage had been going downhill for quite a while, for a few years, and I think that's why I let myself become involved, because it was somebody who would listen to me, somebody who would pay me attention, somebody who would send me flowers, somebody who sent me a necklace, somebody there who would give me advice and ask how my day was, and that sort of thing."

Kirsty continues, "Every single day, I would question Matthew Perry. I would look him up online to see what he had been doing, to see if it corresponded with what he told me, as far as going out, what events he might have been at. Matthew had all the right answers."


"You called him Matty, right?" Dr. Phil asks Kirsty.

"I called him Matty, yes," she says.

Dr. Phil says, "That was just your pet name for him because y'all were that close."

"We were that close," she agrees.

"Did it strike you odd that you would get this close to somebody that you had never met?" Dr. Phil asks. "Because you could have met."

"Could have," she says. "There were a lot of times that he said he would, and then it never happened, and I would go through the process of fighting. We probably fought more than anything. It was a love-hate relationship, absolutely. And I would block and delete, and he would kind of suck me back in, create new e-mails to message me."

"When you were breaking up with Matty because he had made you mad, you got flowers," says Dr. Phil. "So who did it turn out this person was?" he asks.

"Well, when my husband became concerned because he was becoming very aggressive," Kirsty recounts, "phoning my house, calling in the middle of the night, hanging up, texting my husband " my husband threatened to go to the police and report this person for stalking. So, I told them that I need to warn them that my husband's going to go to the police, and to find out the truth, and, 'You need to come clean and tell me who you are,' and it turned out that it was a teenage girl from the U.K."

"Do you think you were incredibly naïve and gullible to have bought into this at all?" asks Dr. Phil. "Because you bought into it pretty much for a long time."

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"I did," she says. "I let it go for " 11 months it was before I found out. On the days that I did buy into it and allow myself to go with it, it was a lot easier that way, and it was fun and exciting. When I did find out, it was a huge, huge relief. The last few months, I think I basically hung in there just to find out the true story."

"But you bought into it for a long time," says Dr. Phil. "What's your relationship with this 16-year-old-girl now?"

"I still talk to her now."

Dr. Phil introduces Julia Boorstin, media and technology reporter for CNBC. "What do you think about this, Julia?" he asks.

"Well, I think if you go online, you can never trust that people are who they say they are," Julia says. "There's no guarantee. Facebook doesn't guarantee that someone is who they say they are, and I think, especially with celebrities, you should be really skeptical. Most celebrity pages on Facebook are fan clubs. And when you go online, when you create your profile, you should think about protecting yourself. You're taking so many risks by going onto these sites. Set your privacy settings, and be incredibly skeptical about whoever you reach out to, and really the only way to be guaranteed that you're dealing with someone who's legit is if it's someone you've really met in person and you know well."

"But this could have been someone and often is someone who is trying to victimize you, get your identity, get your money, get things that can really spin out of control. And that's dangerous, right?" asks Dr. Phil.

"Yeah, it absolutely could have been dangerous," Julia assures him. "There are privacy settings, and when you set up a profile, if you already have a profile, you can set settings so only people whom you've accepted as a friend can see your information."

Dr. Phil turns to Kristy. "When you confronted this girl, when you found out who she was, what did she say?" he asks.

"She told me that she didn't want to tell me the truth before because she thought that I would stop talking to her," she says. "She didn't want to let me go. She says that she's in love with me. When I found out she was 16, yeah, I was mad. I knew that it wasn't Matthew Perry. I was relieved that I finally got the truth. Then I became curious as to who the person was. And I mean, I remember what it was like when I was 16."
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"But is your relationship with her maternal at this point?" he asks.

"Oh, absolutely," says Kristy. "I feel very protective of her. Like I said, I remember what it was like. When you're 16, your emotions are crazy!"

"Well that's certainly crazy," says Dr. Phil, "but be careful. Just be careful."