A wrongful-death lawsuit filed Monday claims that actor Jim Carrey supplied his late girlfriend with the powerful prescription drugs she used to commit suicide.
Cathriona White, 30, was found dead in a Sherman Oaks, Calif., residence in September 2015. The lawsuit, filed by her husband, Mark Burton, in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that Carrey used a fake name and “his immense wealth and celebrity status to illegally obtain and distribute highly addictive and, in this case deadly, controlled substances.”
Burton, through the lawsuit, also alleges Carrey supplied White with prescription drugs despite knowing she was “prone to depression” and had previous suicide attempts.
Jim Carey said in a statement Monday he “will not tolerate this heartless attempt to exploit me or the woman I loved.”
“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 in a statement.
Shortly after White’s death, reports emerged that White was still married but had been estranged from her husband.
Burton attorney Michael Avenatti told The Washington Post that White and Burton had been married since January 2013, but the lawyer declined to comment on the nature of their relationship at the time of her death “because it distracts from what this case is really about, which is Mr. Carrey’s conduct.”
The lawsuit alleges Carrey violated California’s Drug Dealer Liability Act, which allows people to file civil lawsuits against suppliers for harm caused by illegal drug use, and seeks unspecified damages. An autopsy showed White “had taken her own life by overdosing on a lethal amount of prescription drugs,” including Ambien, Propranolol and Percocet, all of which Carrey got using the alias “Arthur King,” according to the lawsuit.
Shortly after White’s death, Carrey said in a statement that he was “shocked and deeply saddened by the passing of my sweet Cathriona. She was a truly kind and delicate Irish flower, too sensitive for this soil, to whom loving and being loved was all that sparkled.”
The actor attended White’s funeral, and a photo published by People shows him helping to carry her casket.
But the lawsuit, which seeks burial and funeral expenses, claims that Carrey offered to help pay for the funeral (a story line that surfaced in TMZ) and never did.
White, an Irish makeup artist, had been romantically linked with Carrey on and off since 2012.
Details from her autopsy were reported by various outlets this summer, including what drugs were found in her system and a note she had written to Carrey. At the time, the actor publicly lamented the release of her autopsy information.
On Monday, Carrey said in a statement that White’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.”
[This post has been updated.]