12:58pm PT by Ashley Cullins
Jim Carrey Sued Over Former Girlfriend's Drug Death
Actor Jim Carrey is being sued for allegedly providing illegal drugs to his girlfriend Cathriona White, which a lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles County Superior court claims led to her death.
White committed suicide by drug overdose last fall, and now, Mark Burton, her husband, is suing Carrey.
Burton alleges the actor used "his immense wealth and celebrity status to illegally obtain and distribute highly addictive and, in this case deadly, controlled substances" under a fake name.
"[T]he coroner determined that the Drugs that caused White's death — Ambien, Propranolol, and Percocet (Oxycodone) — all came from three pill bottles found near her body bearing the name 'Arthur King,'" states the complaint.
Further, Burton alleges Carrey knew White was prone to depression and had previously attempted suicide. He's suing for violation of the Drug Dealer Liability Act and wrongful death and is seeking statutory and punitive damages — plus funeral and burial expenses.
Burton's attorney Michael Avenatti announced the lawsuit via Twitter.
Carrey issued a statement through his publicist Monday evening saying the lawsuit is "a terrible shame" and he intends to defend himself. “It would be easy for me to get in a back room with this man’s lawyer and make this go away, but there are some moments in life when you have to stand up and defend your honor against the evil in this world," Carrey said. 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.”
The actor's attorney, prominent entertainment lawyer Marty Singer, also issued a lengthy statement on Monday night, which can be read in full below:
The lawsuit against Jim Carrey is an outlandish shakedown. The Coroner’s Report unequivocally concluded after a complete investigation that Cathriona White committed suicide. The definitive conclusion of the Medical Examiner was that the “Manner of death is suicide.”
The Coroner’s Report also referenced Ms. White’s prior suicide attempt years earlier. Ms. White’s suicide is a tragedy that is being exploited in a completely meritless lawsuit in pursuit of a payday.
Ms. White was not a US citizen and she faced the return to Ireland when she and Burton married, but during that “marriage” she lived in California while he lived on Oregon and Utah. It is despicable that Burton, who claims to have been Ms. White’s husband but never lived with her and did not even reside in the same state she did, now comes forward trying to cash in on her death. We are confident that the Court will see through this abhorrent money-grab scheme.
Jim never supplied his prescription medications to Ms. White. Ms. White stole his prescription medications from him.
Significantly, my client’s prescriptions were legally obtained medications that were prescribed to him by his doctor in accordance with routine practices that are used all the time, and which are regularly used by SAG members and others with the knowledge of their doctors and insurers, to protect the privacy of well-known individuals.
Also, contrary to inaccurate media reports, Jim had not publicly offered to pay the funeral expenses, so the lawsuit’s attempt to paint him as reneging on doing so is absurd and unjustified. Meanwhile, Ms. White’s “husband” Mark Burton never publicly offered to pay for the funeral.
My client will vigorously fight this outrageous, opportunistic lawsuit and he will be completely vindicated in Court.