Friends actor Matthew Perry has described an encounter he’s “not proud of” with Canada’s prime minister, saying that he beat up a young Justin Trudeau when they were both children.
“I’m not bragging about this, this is terrible,” Perry told late-night host Jimmy Kimmel on Wednesday. “I was a stupid kid.”
Perry said he had been recently reminded of the incident by a friend who had also participated in the attack. They were in fifth grade at the time and a few years older than Trudeau.
“We both beat him up,” Perry said. “I think he was excelling in a sport that we weren’t, so it was pure jealousy.”
Trudeau’s father was the prime minister of Canada at the time, Perry noted. “But I don’t think that’s the reason we beat him up,” he said. “I think he was the only kid in school that we could beat up.”
Kimmel was quick to draw parallels with the security apparatus of US presidents. “Don’t they have secret service there protecting the children of prime ministers?” He asked.
When Perry replied no, Kimmel continued: “That would never happen to Barron Trump, you would be in the stockade right now, you would be in Russia somewhere.”
Born in the US, Perry moved to Ottawa with his mother as a young child. She ended up working for the Liberal party, eventually becoming press secretary to Pierre Trudeau while he was prime minister.
Perry and Trudeau both attended Rockcliffe Park elementary, a public school located in one of Ottawa’s wealthiest neighbourhoods and frequented by the children of ambassadors and politicians.
On Wednesday, Perry said he had never spoken to Trudeau about the fight. “But I think I was rather instrumental in him going to such great heights and becoming the prime minister,” he joked. “I think he said, you know, ‘I’m going to rise above this and I’m going to become prime minister.’”
Trudeau’s office said they had no comment on Perry’s claim.