The wrongful death lawsuit against Jim Carrey just went from strange to stranger.
In an amended complaint filed Thursday, Mark Burton, the estranged husband of Jim Carrey’s late ex-girlfriend Cathriona White, is claiming that the Liar, Liar star gave White a sexually transmitted disease over two years prior to her suicide by overdose.
Carrey’s attorney, Martin Singer, is firing back with allegations that Burton’s marriage was an “illegal sham” intended to help White, a makeup artist who came to the United States from Ireland, “evade immigration laws.”
But in order to understand this new volley of allegations, some background is in order.
On Monday, Burton, who met and married White in 2013 while working as a camera operator, filed a complaint against Carrey in Los Angeles Superior Court alleging that the Hollywood actor provided White with the pills she used to commit suicide last September.
The original complaint also alleged that Carrey tried to cover up his “complicity in her death” after the fact with a “bogus text message” in which he pretended that “he had misplaced the drugs.”
In a statement Monday night, Singer slammed the allegations against his high-profile client, calling the civil suit “completely meritless,” “an outlandish shakedown,” and “an abhorrent money-grab scheme.” He added that it was “despicable” for Burton, who “never lived with [White] and did not even reside in the same state she did,” to sue Carrey for financial damages.
A few days later, the already-complex case took an unexpected turn.
On Thursday, Burton filed an amended complaint (PDF), attaching several exhibits including a purported letter from White to Carrey and alleged text messages between the pair, who dated intermittently between 2013 and 2015. The New York Daily News also published that correspondence in full on Friday morning.
“I am damaged. I am disgusting,” White allegedly wrote to Carrey in the handwritten letter. “When I shower, I feel sick. Getting turned on… what’s that? Definitely not something that happens to me anymore. I will always be damaged goods and have a stigma attached.”
If authentic, the letter also suggests that White considered but ultimately decided against taking legal action against the actor, writing that she simply “wanted an apology, to be acknowledged and to respect be [sic] enough to take responsibility.”
White’s alleged description of the sought-after apology continues: “To say, ‘I give you this intentional or not. I gave it to you. I understand that this is something that will affect you for the rest of your life, your future relationships (or lack of because of this). What can make this right?’”
The purported text messages, dating from January to March 2013, depict an escalation tension over “bumps” that the woman identified as “Cat” suggests she found on her body.
“Aggrivated folacles [sic] or bumps are normal when you shave or have vigorous sex,” the contact stored in “Cat’s” phone as “Jim Carrey” wrote in a message dated January 2013.
“I hope your [sic] ok, hun,” the person identified as Jim continues in February. “It could be from someone before me.”
“I was tested right before we were together,” White allegedly wrote back.
The text of Burton’s complaint was changed to include new allegations that Carrey “knowingly gave Ms. White sexually transmitted diseases without any regard for her safety and well-being” and that he “lied about the fact that he had given her the diseases,” all before leveraging his “powerful lawyers and handlers” to “shame and threaten [White] into staying quiet” (PDF).
The amended complaint also claims that White received three STDS from her ex-boyfriend: herpes type 1, herpes type 2 or genital herpes, and gonorrhea, and that shortly after she discovered the “bumps,” the Truman Show star “began pressuring [her] to sign an agreement releasing [him] from any and all liabilities associated with anything that had transpired in their relationship.”
In a statement, Singer called these new STD-related allegations “a desperate, bogus claim made by the ‘husband’ of the sham marriage,” which he believes was only made official “so [White] could stay in the country.”
Singer further claimed that “numerous witness have confirmed that Ms. White held a phony ‘wedding’ with another man before Mr. Burton went through with the sham marriage, after which Ms. White and Mr. Burton lived in different states.” People noted after White’s suicide that “few people, including some relatives, were even aware she had a husband.”
Singer also alleged that Burton took the “significant monies in [White’s] bank accounts at the time of her death” and “kept it for himself” instead of giving it to her family.
“My client will not pay money to end this opportunist’s transparent shakedown lawsuit, and this malicious case will be dismissed,” Singer wrote. “Mr. Carrey has suffered a great deal in the last year with the suicide of the woman he dearly loved, and it is outrageous that he should be subjected to this predatory lawsuit.”
In a statement Friday, Carrey said: “Is this the way a ‘husband’ honors the memory of his ‘wife?’ The real disease here is greed, shameful greed!”