LOS ANGELES, Sept. 19 (UPI) — Actor and comedian Jim Carrey is speaking out after the husband of his late girlfriend filed a lawsuit accusing him of wrongful death in her 2015 suicide.
Mark Burton, who filed the civil suit in Los Angeles court on Monday, was married to Cathriona White when she was dating Carrey and at the time she took her own life at the age of 30.
“What a terrible shame,” Carrey said in a statement Monday. “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. 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.”
Burton alleged Carrey was complicit in White’s death by supplying the prescription drugs she used to overdose and failing to alert authorities around the time of her death.
Between 2012 and last year, Carrey and White had an on-and-off romantic relationship while she was still married to Burton.
Burton’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, announced the suit on Twitter Monday.
“We will also be requesting that the Los Angeles DA’s office launch an investigation into Jim Carrey’s role in the death,” the attorney said in a post online.
White was found dead in a Los Angeles area home on Sept. 28, 2015, and an autopsy later determined she had suffered a fatal overdose of the sleep aid Ambien, beta blocker propranolol, and painkiller oxycodone.
A suicide note found by police indicated that White, a makeup artist in the entertainment industry, had difficulty coping with the end of the relationship.
“After obtaining these drugs illegally and under a bogus name, Mr. Carrey proceeded to provide the prescription drugs,” the suit states, claiming the comedian was well aware White was “prone to depression and had previously attempted to take her own life.”
“The result that followed was predictable and foreseeable,” it continued.
Burton is suing Carrey for violating the California Drug Dealer Liability Act and seeks statutory and punitive damages — plus funeral and burial expenses, which Burton says Carrey promised to cover but never did.
“Not surprisingly, he never informed the media of his broken promise and decision to stiff the family,” the suit says.
The suit also claims Carrey had White’s home under surveillance and did nothing to alert authorities when he learned that something may be wrong.
“She was truly kind and a delicate Irish flower, too sensitive for this soil, to whom loving and being loved was all that sparkled,” Carrey said last September. “My heart goes out to her family and friends and everyone who loved and cared about her. We have all been hit with a lighting bolt.”