Updated: A lawsuit contends that actor Jim Carrey illegally provided the prescription drugs that his girlfriend used to commit suicide last year.
The suit was filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court by Mark Burton, who is identified as the husband of Cathriona White. White, 30, killed herself in September 2015 with an overdose of oxycodone, propranolol and Ambien.
“Our client, Mr. Burton, is seeking justice in connection with the death of his wife,” attorney Michael Avenatti told Variety. “What he is seeking is a search for the truth. We believe that Mr. Carrey has culpability in the death of Ms. White.”
In a statement issued late Monday, Carrey called the suit “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 honor against the evil in this world,” Carrey said. “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.”
The suit was filed under the state’s Drug Dealer Liability Act, which attempts to hold drug dealers financially accountable for the harms of drug abuse.
The suit alleges that Carrey obtained illegal prescriptions for the various drugs under the name Arthur King. It also claims that Carrey provided White with the drugs despite knowing that she was prone to depression and had attempted suicide before.
“If these drugs that Ms. White used in connection with her suicide were prescribed to Mr. Carrey illegally, including under a false name, then he’s liable,” Avenatti said.
White was found dead at her home in Sherman Oaks on Sept. 28. The suit alleges that Carrey had access to surveillance cameras placed inside the home. Sometime before Sept. 28, according to the suit, Carrey’s assistant noted that White had entered the home at midday on Sept. 24 but had not left for more than a day after that. The suit claims that neither Carrey nor the assistant alerted the authorities.
The suit does not explain why Carrey would have supplied White with the medication. According to the coroner’s report, reported by People magazine, authorities found texts from Carrey on White’s phone, in which he asked if she “knew where his painkillers went from under his sink.”
The suit alleges that this text was sent after White was already dead, in an effort to minimize Carrey’s involvement.