Monday 26 September 2016

Jim Carrey faces wrongful death case over ex-girlfriend's suicide

Published 20/09/2016 | 01:16

Jim Carrey at the funeral of ex-girlfriend Cathriona White in Cappawhite, Co Tipperary
Jim Carrey at the funeral of ex-girlfriend Cathriona White in Cappawhite, Co Tipperary

Actor Jim Carrey is facing a wrongful death lawsuit over the suicide of his ex-girlfriend Cathriona White.

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Mark Burton, the estranged husband of Ms White, has lodged a complaint claiming the 54-year-old star of The Mask used his "immense wealth and celebrity status" to illegally obtain and distribute prescription drugs involved in her death.

In papers filed with Los Angeles Superior Court, Mr Burton said Carrey provided the drugs to Ms White despite knowing she was "ill-equipped" to take them, prone to depression and she had previously tried to take her own life.

The complaint states: "After her death, Mr Carrey took steps to conceal an obfuscate his involvement and culpability in Ms White's untimely and tragic death."

In response, Carrey described the lawsuit as a "heartless attempt" to exploit him and "the woman I loved".

Ms White, a make-up artist from Cappawhite, Co Tipperary, Ireland, was found dead at her Los Angeles home in September 2015 after overdosing on prescription drugs.

She had broken up with Carrey a week before her death and left a suicide note addressed to the actor saying she was "just not for this world".

In the lawsuit, Mr Burton claims Carrey had an "obsession with controlling and manipulating" Ms White and used surveillance cameras on her home to monitor her.

The prescription drugs Ambien, Popranolol and Percocet that caused Ms White's death were not prescribed to her and Carrey had obtained them under the bogus name Arthur King, the complaint states.

According to a coroner's report released in July, Carrey sent a text message to Ms White a day before her body was found asking where his painkillers had gone from under his sink.

Mr Burton claims Carrey's message was a "bogus text ... in an effort to cover up his conduct and complicity in her death" by "pretending as though he had misplaced the drugs and insinuating White may have taken them from Carrey without his knowledge".

The complaint says: "If Carrey legitimately believed White had taken the drugs from him and she had subsequently gone missing for days with no contact, then why would Carrey not immediately request law enforcement to check on her well-being after she did not return his text?"

Mr Burton also alleges Carrey "continued his charade" by publically offering to pay for Ms White's funeral in Cappawhite, where the actor was a pallbearer.

"In reality, Carrey never paid a dime of funeral expenses," the complaint states.

Mr Burton, who lives in Portland, Oregon, is suing for violation of the drug dealer liabilty act and wrongful death. He is seeking unspecified damages and a jury trial in the case.

In a statement, Carrey said: "What a terrible shame. 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 honour against the evil in this world.

"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."

Press Association

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