What's Really Going On With The Jim Carrey Lawsuit

Jim Carrey has been sued for the wrongful death of his ex-girlfriend, Irish-born Cathriona White. At the time of White's death on Sept. 28, 2015, she was married—albeit separated–from her American husband, Mark Burton. White committed suicide after her breakup with Carrey, and in the lawsuit, Burton alleged it was Carrey who supplied White with the prescription drugs she used to overdose.

According to TMZ, White left behind a suicide note for Carrey explaining her decision to take her life. "I've spent 3 days now in disbelief that you're not here. I can go on brokenhearted and try to put the pieces back. I could, I just don't have the will this time," she wrote. "I'm sorry you felt I wasn't there for you. I tried to give you my best part. I don't really know about burial or that sort of thing. You are my family so whatever you choose will be fine." The note concluded, "Please forgive me. I'm just not for this world."

Shortly after her passing, Carrey released a statement (via E! News): "She was a truly kind and delicate Irish flower, too sensitive for this soil, to whom loving and being loved was all that sparkled. My heart goes out to her family and friends and to everyone who loved and cared about her."

Documents claim White overdosed on meds belonging to Carrey

In October 2015, TMZ reported the prescription drugs White overdosed on were allegedly prescribed to Carrey under the alias, Arthur King. According to TMZ, Burton's suit claims that three or four days before she died, "Carrey gave her the pills in question," but then "tried to cover his tracks...texting her he either misplaced the drugs or she may have taken them without his knowledge." Carrey's lawyer told TMZ White "stole" the drugs from Carrey, insisting the actor never provided her with pills.

Her husband claims Carrey contributed to White's depression

Burton's lawsuit claims Carrey was well aware of White's history of depression and mental illness, knew about a previous suicide attempt made by White, and may have contributed to her problems. According to TMZ, White attempted to take her life after her father's death in 2012. Burton's suit alleged Carrey had an "obsession" with White, would control and manipulate her, and used surveillance cameras to watch over her during their three-year, on-and-off relationship.

Carrey released a statement in response to the allegations: "Cat's troubles were born long before I met her and sadly her tragic end was beyond anyone's control. I really hope that someday soon people will stop trying to profit from this and let her rest in peace."

According to a source for Hollywood Life, "Depression was something she suffered from most days, but she was really dependent on [Carrey], especially since he was one of her only friends in the states. That, and she was madly in love with him. When their relationship ended she felt like she had nothing left to live for."

The conduct of Carrey's physician is being questioned

Though Carrey's legal team maintains that the actor obtained his medications in a lawful and responsible way, despite using an alias, TMZ reported that sources close to Burton believed there were "serious questions relating to the conduct of Carrey's physician." TMZ said celebrities often receive medication and medical treatment under aliases, in order to provide an added layer of privacy protection, but because the law states that physicians can't "make a false statement in any prescription," Carrey's physician could still face legal scrutiny.

Carrey's been outspoken about medication in the past

Carrey has a history of being outspoken against certain medications, specifically vaccinations. He has previously proselytized against the use of vaccines, utilizing social media to spread the word. Carrey tweeted (via Time) in 2015, "California [Governor] says yes to poisoning more children with mercury and aluminum in [mandatory] vaccines. This corporate fascist must be stopped." He didn't stop there. "They say mercury in fish is dangerous but forcing all of our children to be injected with mercury in [thimerosal] is no risk. Make sense?" He then clarified, "I am not anti-vaccine. I am anti-thimerosal, anti-mercury. They have taken some of the mercury-laden thimerosal out of vaccines. NOT ALL!"

Carrey has no intention of settling the lawsuit

At the time of this writing, Carrey had no intention of settling the lawsuit with Burton. "There are moments in life when you have to stand up and defend your honor against the evil in this world," he professed in a statement (via E! News). "I will not tolerate this heartless attempt to exploit me or the woman I loved." According to the BBC, Carrey said "it would be easy" to get Burton's lawyer in a room and settle the suit, but he refused because it wasn't the right thing to do. Carrey's legal team called the pending lawsuit a "scheme" designed to funnel money from the Ace Ventura (1994) star, who is worth an estimated $150 million.

Carrey reportedly didn't foot the bill for White's funeral

Though Carrey had previously offered to pay for his girlfriend's funeral, the lawsuit filed by Burton states otherwise. According to the complaint, Carrey "continued his charade by publicly offering to pay the funeral expenses associated with White's funeral in Ireland" and "made considerable efforts to publicize his supposed generosity" but actually "never paid a dime of funeral expenses." The lawsuit claims Carrey "reneged on his promise after learning that White had left a minimal amount of money to her family."

The suit alleges Carrey gave White STDs

According to an amendment to the original lawsuit, obtained by the Daily Mail, Jim Carrey has been accused of giving White numerous sexually-transmitted diseases and verbally abusing her. The complaint claims "after [White] discovered that Carrey had given her STDs, she wrote a handwritten letter in her own words to Carrey...In that letter, [White] detailed how after she had confronted Carrey, he had failed to even apologize and instead, she was 'disrespected, degraded, called a whore, an opportunist, threatened,' and had their 'relationship belittled.'"

"I will always be damaged goods and have a stigma attached," White wrote in her letter (via the Daily Mail). "So I have to accept something I was always afraid of. Being alone. Being abandoned and alone."

Burton called his lawsuit (via the New York Daily News) "a search for the truth and people will now learn about the real [Carrey] and his treatment of women." He urged other women "who have been exploited and injured by [Carrey] and his reckless behavior to come forward and tell their stories."

Burton claims Carrey dumped White after learning she had herpes and gonorrhea and tried to convince her to sign documents absolving him from any blame. According to the Daily Mail, Carrey said, via text, "I hope [you're] ok, hun. It could be from someone before me. Doesn't show up until you're really stressed." He also allegedly dumped her via text, saying, "You have become too much drama."

Carrey's attorney told TMZ the STD allegations are "desperate and bogus." Carrey summed it up this way: "Is this the way a 'husband' honors the memory of his 'wife?'" he quipped, via Entertainment Tonight. "The real disease here is greed, shameful greed!"

Was White's marriage a sham?

According to TMZ, Carrey's attorney said White and her husband were in a "sham marriage," so she could legally stay in the United States and not return to her native Ireland. She allegedly approached as many as five other men—including Carrey—prior to marrying Burton on Jan. 15, 2013. A photo of Carrey and White at a romantic, candlelit dinner on Valentine's Day 2013 lends some credence to that claim.

Burton's lawyer told TMZ that Carrey and his reps need to "stop lying."

White's family holds a memorial service

Amid the legal chaos, White's family held a commemorative mass for her in her Ireland on Sept. 24, 2016, the first anniversary of her death, reported People. "They just wanted to keep it quiet and dignified, which they did. Cathriona's name was read out by the priest and the mass offered for her," a source told the magazine. "They are very wary of any publicity, and especially with this new lawsuit from her husband coming at the same time as her anniversary. It is very painful for them."

White's mother files a wrongful death suit, too

Carrey was hit with yet another lawsuit—this time levied against him by White's mother, Brigid Sweetman. According to TMZ, Sweetman's suit claims the actor "shamed [White] by calling her a 'whore' and threatened her with the help of 'fixers' who tried to silence her." Sweetman backed up Burton's claims that White discovered she had contracted STDs in 2013, alleging the back-and-forth between her daughter and Carrey went on for two years, and that their relationship finally ended when Carrey wrote off White as "too much drama," reported TMZ.

In a statement to The Wrap, Sweetman said she would drop the suit if Carrey shared the results of an STD test with the public. "[Carrey] and his attorney have told the world that Carrey has never had STDs and he has never tested positive for STDs. They have called me and [Burton] 'shams' for claiming otherwise. I am demanding they immediately release the full 2013 lab results so people can judge for themselves who is telling the truth and who is lying. If they publicly release and publish the full Quest Diagnostics lab report for the blood sample Carrey gave on January 28, 2013 at 11:40 a.m. under the name 'Jose Lopez' and if it shows Carrey did not test positive for STDs, I will immediately dismiss the case and apologize. But if it shows differently, and it will, then Carrey and his attorney must admit they have lied to the media and the public. The public has a right to know when they have been lied to."

Carrey's attorney issued a statement (via The Wrap) claiming White and her mother had a "contentious relationship" and had been "estranged for years." The attorney also said (via the Los Angeles Times), "It is understandable that a mother who has lost a daughter will look for someone to blame. But in directing her grief and rage at [Carrey] and joining this ridiculous lawyer's attempt to capitalize on [White's] suicide, Mrs. Sweetman is heading down the same dark path as [White's] green card 'husband,' Mark Burton." The statement continued, "On her 30th birthday, just a few days before her suicide, [White] was distraught having received a message from her mother through Facebook that was so destructive and demoralizing that she instantly deleted her Facebook account so her mother could no longer contact her."

Carrey asks judge to nix STD claims

In December 2016, Carrey asked a judge to toss out Sweetman's allegations about the actor transmitting STDs to White, reported Page Six. According to court papers, Carrey's team called the charges "irrelevant" to the rest of Sweetman's suit, which it characterized as a "shakedown for a multi-million dollar payday." Carrey's camp noted that the supposed infection occurred two years prior to White's death, but Sweetman's lawyer claimed White was "driven to suicide because Carey lied about giving her STDs," reported Page Six.

An alleged letter from White surfaces

In Sept. 2017, the Daily Mail published portions of a letter White supposedly wrote to Carrey on her iPad two years before her death, though it's unclear if she ever shared it with him. The message describes White's stress over allegedly contracting an STD from Carrey and hints at legal drama surrounding the relationship.

"You have not thought about the stigma I have to live with for the rest of my life, you have not apologized or once asked is there something you can do to make it better or even felt bad for it. Or even ask me how I'm feeling about it. Instead you did a whole lot of screaming and turned it around on me," White allegedly wrote (via the Daily Mail). "...You know what I want and it's nothing to do with money. I didn't get a lawyer so I can take your money... Whatever the lawyers decide to do I don't care. This is what I want, you gave me hsv and hpv, I want you to apologize for it because you care enough to. I want you to understand that however little a thing seems to you, it ruins a girl's life."

She added, "'Before you, I might not have had very much but I had respect, I was a happy person. I loved life, I was confident and I felt good in my skin and was proud of most decisions I made, I met you, you introduced me to cocaine, prostitutes, mental abuse and disease... I was promise[d] Jekyll and instead I got Hyde."

Carrey files a countersuit

In Sept. 2017, Carrey revealed in a countersuit against Sweetman and Burton that he'd previously paid White in an out-of-court settlement connected to the allegations about sexually transmitted diseases.

"Fighting the accusations is painful, time consuming, and extremely expensive—irrespective of the validity or outcome of the claims," Carrey said in a statement (via the Daily Mail). "Today I filed a cross-complaint against Fillipo Marchino, The X Law Group, Mark Burton and Brigid Sweetman... Unfortunately, I made the mistake three years ago of giving in and settling false claims made against me by Mr. Marchino, on behalf of Cat, as mounting a public defense is a very costly and painful process. At the time I felt Cat was being exploited by Marchino. Since this new case was filed, I have discovered the depth of deception behind those false claims, the kind of deception decent people fall for, because to us, such behavior is unimaginable."

"I will not give in a second time to these same fraudulent charges initiated by Cat's husband in name but not substance Mark Burton, and her estranged mother," the statement said. "Nor am I responsible for what these desperate characters have inadvertently unearthed about the woman I adored. I was clearly blinded by my affection. Regardless, I will hold a place of empathy, and forgiveness for Cat and continue to focus on the many blessings in this life."

Carrey claims White was mad that he wouldn't marry her

In his countersuit, Carrey alleged that White was desperate to marry him, in part to stay in the country. Carrey reportedly didn't want to commit, which he says led to a change in her character and in their interactions with one another.

"Dissatisfied, Cat soon became bitter and angry, taking Jim's decision not to marry her as rejection," his lawyer claimed in court documents obtained by the Daily Mail. "She began placing more pressure on him, including sending him a text adding his last name to hers, 'Cathriona Anne Carrey... how does that sound.'... Cat tried on several occasions to convince other men to marry her so that she could stay in the country and circumvent immigration laws. At one point, she even staged a phony wedding and posted pictures of it on Facebook. On another, she was set to marry a man she was seeing until she learned he was already married."

Carrey blames White's health issues on a bad wax job

In Carrey's countersuit, he vehemently denied giving White sexually transmitted diseases, including genital herpes. "Cat had a wax job which caused irritation and bumps under her arms and in her vaginal area. She sent Cross-Defendant Mark Burton a picture of her underarm to show him the 'bumps' from the wax job and mentioned 'you should see the state of my vagina,'" the suit claimed (via the Daily Mail). "She and Jim were not speaking at the time, and she was afraid she was going to lose him. She reached out to Jim a few days after texting Burton, but she didn't tell Jim about the wax job. Instead, she claimed to be concerned about the bumps in her vaginal area and fearful that she may have STDs."

Carrey believes White's family coerced her to sue him

Jim Carrey insisted in his countersuit that White was coerced into suing by her lawyer, husband, therapist, and mother.

"Filippo Marchino and Mark Burton, along with her therapist, Cynthia Cohen, encouraged, pressured, and pushed Cat to get millions of dollars from Jim and to take him for all that she could," the suit read (via the Daily Mail). "For her part, Cat was angry and upset by the breakup, and wanted to hurt Jim as badly as she could. Devastated, Cat closed down her Facebook account to cut off the last and only avenue of communication with her biological mother. Feeling publicly shamed, humiliated, abused, and betrayed, Cat let it be known to her friends (as she had to Jim) that she hated Ms. Sweetman. She had no further contact with her mother, from whom she had been estranged for many years."

Carrey's countersuit also attempts to explain the circumstances that may have prompted White to take her own life. "While Cat seemed happy for the most part during the weeks leading up to her death," the suit reads, "she was nonetheless burdened by her mother's birthday message, by the anniversary of her father's death, and particularly by the weight and guilt of her prior false claims against Jim and how deeply that had hurt him."