Jim Carrey has amped up his effort to defend himself against the wrongful death complaint filed by the family of his ex-girlfriend, Cathriona White, who committed suicide in 2015.
The comedian’s lawyer, Raymond Boucher, filed a cross-complaint on Friday claiming that White’s family members, including her estranged husband Mark Burton and mother Brigid Sweetman, and their lawyer Filippo Marchino and his law firm, the X-Law Group, filed their wrongful death complaint in 2016 as an attempt to extort large sums of money from him.
In the filing, Carrey stated that this marked the second time Marchino had participated in extortion attempts against him. According to Carrey, the first incident occurred in 2013 when White told Carrey “with the participation and assistance” of Marchino that unless Carrey paid her “millions of dollars,” she would “go to the press” with false claims that he had infected White with STDs.
“In this case, Cross-Defendant Filippo Marchino took what started as a warm and exciting romance between Jim Carrey and Cat White, a beautiful yet immature and emotionally damaged woman, and turned it into an act of extortion, coercion, and theft,” the cross-complaint reads.
The actor alleges that rather than engage in a lengthy and public legal battle, Carrey settled the first extortion attempt privately.
“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,” Carrey wrote in a statement. “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,” he continued. “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.”
The wrongful death suit filed by Burton and Sweetman claims that Carrey had illegally obtained “highly addictive and, in this case, deadly” drugs under the name Arthur King, which she used to take her own life and which he provided to her despite knowing that she had struggled with depression and attempted suicide in the past.
Burton and Sweetman amended the complaint a few days after its original filing to allege that Carrey also gave White three STDs without informing her of the danger of transmission. According to the complaint, when White confronted Carrey about it, the actor “manipulated her, shamed her, exploited her, threatened her, and used his handlers and attorneys to silence her.” Carrey has denied the allegations.