For the past couple of years, Jim Carrey has been fighting a painful and controversial legal battle. His on-off girlfriend, 30-year-old Cathriona White, died from a drug overdose in September 2015. A year later, her family and estranged husband sued Carrey for wrongful death. Many revelations have already come to light in court; now Carrey has made a new and shocking claim.
Carrey and White had a complicated relationship. Since 2012, they had been dating, but when they split up in 2013 White’s health reportedly suffered. They parted, allegedly, because White had accused Carrey of giving her sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), a claim he denied. They got back together in 2014.
But the relationship ended in a terrible way. In 2015, Carrey broke up with her again. A few days later, on September 28, White was found dead in her home. She had overdosed on prescription drugs, and a suicide note was found. “I’ve spent three days now in disbelief that you’re not here… Please forgive me. I’m just not for this world,” it read.
It seemed, though, like the break-up was not the only thing that had sent White into apparent meltdown. She had reportedly attempted suicide before, and her father’s death had also affected her badly. Her own death occurred on the third anniversary of her dad’s passing.
Initially, Carrey and White’s family seemed to find unity in their sorrow, and Carrey was a pallbearer at White’s funeral. But from there, relations deteriorated. The prescription pills White overdosed on were said to be obtained by Carrey using a pseudonym. White’s estranged ex-husband, Mark Burton, got involved and both he and White’s mother, Brigid Sweetman, filed lawsuits later merged together.
Burton’s claim, filed in September 2016, accused Carrey of obtaining prescription drugs for White illegally despite knowing his girlfriend was “prone to depression and had previously attempted to take her own life.” It went on to say that Carrey tried to “conceal and obfuscate his involvement.” Carrey quickly released a statement angrily denying the claims.
“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,” he wrote, adding that Burton was “trying to profit from this.” But due to the terms of the lawsuit, he would have to defend himself before a jury.
From there, things got worse and worse. White’s mother accused Carrey of giving her daughter STDs. As the trial continued over the period of a year, documents were produced in court. One of them was a sexual health test allegedly filed by Carrey under a false name. The other was an (undated) letter to Carrey from White, in which she accused him of giving her STDs.
But Carrey’s response was quite shocking. In October 2017, he and his legal team asserted that White had actually had STDs before she met Carrey, and had faked her medical records, citing newly-discovered text messages to a friend as proof.
Allegedly, White had requested a copy of her friend’s Planned Parenthood tests, which had come back negative for the diseases syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhoea. “I don’t think there’s anything in the papers from Planned Parenthood that’ll help you babe,” the friend had texted, but White had answered “Still bring it I need to see the layout I have to give something.”
“We now know that White, using a legitimate and official copy of her friend’s Planned Parenthood records, forged test results to ‘prove’ the lie that she had tested negative for sexually transmitted diseases just prior to her relationship with Carrey and to support her attempt to extort millions of dollars from her famous ex-boyfriend,” Carrey’s team claimed.
Carrey’s lawyers had hired a forensic document examiner to look at the STD documentation. According to their report, he concluded White’s “alleged 2011 medical records are composite documents or a classic electronic ‘cut and paste.’ ” She had allegedly also backdated them to before she had met Carrey.
Carrey and his lawyers requested that if the court decided the documents were indeed fake, then all charges against Carrey should be dropped. They also accused Mark Burton and his lawyer Filippo Marchino of pressuring White to exploit Carrey after the pair split for the first time. Court documents stated, “Cat was angry and upset by the breakup, and wanted to hurt Jim as badly as she could.”
Carrey issued a personal statement too, saying he had already been the victim of an extortion case from Burton and Marchino, which he had settled quietly. “Unfortunately, I made the mistake three years ago of giving in and settling false claims… as mounting a public defense is a very costly and painful process,” he said.
Carrey continued, “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.”
Cathriona White may have been estranged from her mother, Brigid Sweetman, when she died. According to celebrity gossip site TMZ, a few days before her suicide she received a “hateful message” from her mom labeling her a “failure.” Carrey also claimed in 2016 that Sweetman had become “angry and bitter” after he refused to buy her a house.
Mark Burton, a cameraman, was also estranged from White. He had married her in Vegas in 2013 – during White and Carrey’s split – but they soon separated and planned an official divorce. However, it never happened. Some media sources reported that Burton was a Scientologist.
Anti-Scientology website The Underground Bunker looked into Burton’s past. It claimed that White, who was Irish, had married Burton only for a Green Card. “After Carrey and Cat broke up in 2012, Cat was desperate to find someone who would marry her so she could stay in the country,” it reported, citing unnamed “independent witnesses.”
The same website claimed that White herself was a Scientologist, or was at least being manipulated by them, along with Burton. “Mark actually has a big heart. But this is something Scientology does to manipulate people to do its work for them,” one of the Underground Bunker’s anonymous sources said.
The story of Cathriona White’s life and death is incredibly sad. We may never know the whole truth. It also remains to be seen, of course, how the court case will end. Hopefully, the whole affair will come to a close in a way which grants a measure of peace to all involved.