Matthew Perry claims he beat up Justin Trudeau at school

Maya Oppenheim

Justin Trudeau and Matthew Perry are not two names one often hears in the same sentence but it turns out the Canadian Prime Minister and the Friends actor crossed paths long before either of them were famous.

However, there history is not one free from complication. Mr Trudeau and Perry, who of course plays Chandler in the cult sitcom, went to school together in Ottawa in Canada but were not always the best of friends.

"I have a story about him that I'm not proud of," Perry said in an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Wednesday night. "My friend Chris Murray, who was also in the fifth grade in Canada, reminded me that we actually beat up Justin Trudeau. We both beat him up."

Casting his mind back to the fateful day when he was just ten years old, he claimed the confrontation was triggered by “pure jealousy”.

"I think he was excelling in a sport," Perry said of the Canadian politician. "He was the only kid in school that we could beat up."

Despite the fact Mr Trudeau’s father, Pierre Trudeau, was Canada’s prime minister at the time of the furore, Perry said he did not think that was the reason they decided to beat him up.

"I'm not bragging about this. It's terrible. I was a stupid kid I didn't want to beat him up," the actor said.

But Perry suggested that maybe the ordeal had inadvertently done Mr Trudeau, who has gone on to become a wildly popular politician, a favour.

"I think it was rather instrumental in him going to such great heights and becoming the prime minister," he argued. "I think he said, 'I'm going to rise above this and I'm going to become prime minister.'"

Mr Trudeau, who is leader of the Liberal Party, has become something of a celebrity politician since taking office in November 2015. From yoga poses to quantum computing explanations, charity strip teases and fervent declarations of feminism, he has frequently won over the hearts and laughs of his fans.

He is not only the second youngest man to be elected Prime Minister in Canada but is also thought to be the only Western world leader who has a tattoo of planet earth inside a Haida raven on his arm.

A representative for Mr Trudeau did not immediately respond to request for comment.

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