A legal battle is heating up between actor Jim Carrey and the estranged husband and mother of his late girlfriend, with lawsuits filed by each side.
Carrey, sued for wrongful death, has countersued both Mark Burton and Brigid Sweetman, alleging they sued to try and coerce him into agreeing to settle the case to avoid public embarrassment.
“A cottage industry that both feeds upon and exploits the public vulnerability of those who have achieved Hollywood notoriety is firmly planted,” the Los Angeles Superior Court countersuit states. “Hollywood stars are caught in the Hobson’s choice of publicly fighting these false claims or confidentially settling the potential litigation for millions of dollars in order to save them from public embarrassment, ridicule, and pile-on litigation.”
In their consolidated lawsuit, Burton and Sweetman allege that Carrey used a false name to obtain the drugs that 30-year-old Cathriona White used to kill herself in September 2015, and that he provided them to her despite knowing she was prone to depression and had previously attempted suicide.
Their attorney blasted Carrey’s countersuit, citing a recent interview from New York Fashion Week in which the actor’s metaphysical musings were mocked in some corners of the internet.
“Jim Carrey is so desperate to avoid the public knowing the truth about his own outrageous conduct, that he has now resorted to outlandish accusations against innocent people,” attorney Michael Avenatti said. “As his red carpet interview from a few weeks ago shows, the guy is incoherent and unhinged. He needs help.”
Burton and Sweetman also allege that Carrey gave White sexually transmitted diseases without warning her.
But the countersuit states that White’s suicide was her own doing.
“Cat decided to end her life,” the countersuit states. “She committed suicide by taking a cocktail of pills, some her own, others secretly taken by her from Jim’s home.”
In the three years before her death, White had previously contemplated suicide, the suit states.
“Many of the suicide notes she wrote over the years had a common theme, `I am not for this world,”‘ the countersuit states.
White told friends she hated her mother and had been estranged from her for years, the countersuit states.
“In fact, other than seeing Ms. Sweetman at her sister’s wedding, Cat had no relationship with Ms. Sweetman during her adult life,” the countersuit states.
Carrey is seeking unspecified damages and also released a statement on Friday.
“I will not give in … to these same fraudulent charges initiated by Cat’s husband in name but not substance Mark Burton, and her estranged mother,” the statement read. “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.”
—City News Service