Jim Carrey Faces Wrongful Death Lawsuit Over Ex-Girlfriend’s Death

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Nov 30, 2016

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Wrongful Death

The husband of Jim Carrey’s former girlfriend is suing the actor in a wrongful death lawsuit, alleging that Carrey illegally supplied Cathriona White with the prescription drugs that led to her death. 

White was a 30-year-old makeup artist who was found dead in her Los Angeles apartment in September 2015. 

The Lawsuit

White’s husband, Mark Burton, filed the suit in Los Angeles Superior Court.  The lawsuit claims that Carrey used “his immense wealth and celebrity status to illegally obtain and distribute highly addictive and, in this case deadly, controlled substances.” 

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that Carrey obtained prescription Percocet, Ambien, and Propranolol under the name of “Arthur King” and gave them to White even though he knew that she was prone to depression and had previously attempted to commit suicide. Burton further claims that Carrey made “an effort to cover-up his conduct and complicity in her death” when he pretended that White may have taken drugs from him without his knowledge. Burton also claims that Carrey never followed through on his offer to pay for White’s funeral expenses, despite “considerable efforts to publicize his supposed generosity as it related to the death of White.”

Additionally, Burton filed an amended complaint claiming that Carrey gave White sexually transmitted diseases. The amended complaint alleges that White received three sexually transmitted diseases from Carrey: herpes type 1, herpes type 2, and gonorrhea. The amended complaint claims that when White discovered “bumps,” Carrey “began pressuring [her] to sign an agreement releasing [him] from any and all liabilities associated with anything that had transpired in their relationship.”

Reaction to the Lawsuit

Commenting on the suit, Carrey stated that it was “a terrible shame” and “there are some moments in life when you have to stand up and defend your honor against the evil in this world.” He further stated that “I will not tolerate this heartless attempt to exploit me or the woman I loved. Cat’s troubles were born long before I met her and sadly her tragic end was beyond anyone’s control. I really hope that some day soon people will stop trying to profit from this and let her rest in peace.”

Carrey’s attorney, Martin Singer, has stated that this lawsuit is “completely meritless,” “an outlandish shakedown,” and “an abhorrent money-grab scheme.” Singer has additionally commented that Burton’s marriage to White was an illegal sham marriage intended to help White, who was originally from Ireland, “evade immigration laws.” Singer stated that “numerous witness have confirmed that Ms. White held a phony ‘wedding’ with another man before Mr. Burton went through with the sham marriage, after which Ms. White and Mr. Burton lived in different states.”

Singer further stated, “My client will not pay money to end this opportunist’s transparent shakedown lawsuit, and this malicious case will be dismissed. … Mr. Carrey has suffered a great deal in the last year with the suicide of the woman he dearly loved, and it is outrageous that he should be subjected to this predatory lawsuit.”

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