According to the motion filed by Carrey’s lawyer on June 23, the actor dropped the demand after Sweetman filed documents claiming “indigency and illness.” (Carrey also withdrew a similar motion against White’s estranged husband, Mark Burton.)
The motion further states that “counsel for Plaintiffs and Defendant have tentatively agreed to meet and confer over discovery and mediation in person on June 28.”
In the original motion, Carrey and his lawyers were expecting “costs” to be covered by Sweetman should he be victorious, including “extensive discovery [lawyer questioning] in London, England, different cities in Ireland, and elsewhere in Europe, as well in the United States.” It is estimated that the actor will have to take part in at least 20 depositions around the world.
Sweetman and Burton have both filed lawsuits against Carrey, claiming that he provided the drugs White used to kill herself. The body of the 30-year-old makeup artist, originally from Ireland, was discovered in her Los Angeles home in September 2015. She and Carrey, 55, met in 2012, and dated on and off.
A coroner’s report concluded that White died from an intentional prescription pill overdose.
Carrey’s lawyer, Raymond Boucher, attempted to get the judge to throw the lawsuits out of court, calling them “malicious” and “predatory.” Carrey himself has called the lawsuits a “shakedown,” and denies any wrongdoing on all accounts.
In previous legal documents, Boucher argued:
“[The allegations] are based on categorical lies concocted by Sweetman in collaboration with White’s ‘green card’ husband with whom White never lived as husband and wife, and whom she married only to avoid deportation to Ireland. There is absolutely no evidence that Carrey furnished his prescription medications to White. Rather, she stole them.”
After the decision that Carrey will face trial for White’s death (the estimated start date is April 26, 2018), Boucher said that Carrey “loved Ms. White dearly, and so obviously [the trial will be] a very painful process for him.”
While both lawsuits focus on whether Carrey was culpable in White’s death, Sweetman also contends that Carrey infected her daughter with multiple sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and then tried to get her to sign a document alleviating him of responsibility. (No accusations have been proven in court.)
Carrey’s legal team vehemently denies the STI charges and said, “Sweetman and her attorney released the embarrassing information about White solely in an attempt to gain leverage against Carrey.”
Documents filed by Boucher also highlight that White sought to reconnect with Carrey in 2014, long after the “purported accusations” of STIs. They also claim that White apologized afterwards for making the accusations.
Carrey and his team question Sweetman’s credibility, claiming she “abandoned her family during White’s childhood” and was “long estranged” from her daughter when she died. The A-list actor insists that he and White were a “loving couple up to the day of her death.” They had apparently been planning to move in together; the legal documents say the pair was in the process of “finalizing a cohabitation agreement shortly before her death with the intent of living together as a couple permanently.”
His legal team claims Sweetman asked Carrey to buy her a house in 2015, “and when he declined she became angry and bitter.”
Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing both plaintiffs, responded to Carrey’s original filing in a statement.
“Jim Carrey [has] filed a baseless motion with the court as part of his continued attack on a grieving mother,” the statement reads. “His conduct is disgusting and dishonest. Who attacks a mother of a dead girl?”
“Carrey and his ‘fixer’ lawyers are trying to deceive the media and the public,” it continues. “They are making up facts they know to be untrue in an effort to save Carrey’s career, which was over when he lied about not having STDs. Carrey is a fraud and when he is forced to testify under oath, the ugly truth will be laid bare. We are confident that the court will see through the nonsense Carrey is peddling.”
The actor says that while he’s “devastated by White’s death,” he is “not responsible for it.” He says “it is outrageous that Sweetman, long estranged and motivated by greed, now seeks blood money.”
Carrey and White split in the summer of 2015 and White began to suffer severe emotional distress shortly thereafter. The autopsy report of her death revealed that the suicide note she left behind was directly addressed to Carrey.
The motion to eliminate the $372,000 bid was withdrawn with prejudice, meaning Carrey can’t ask to renege or change his mind. Boucher also said the motion was withdrawn to speed up the trial process.
Sweetman’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, was also pleased with the motion withdrawal by Carrey’s team.
“In light of the Court’s recent rulings entirely in our favour, we look forward to the trial in April against Mr. Carrey,” he said. “The public deserves to know the truth.”
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, is in crisis or needs someone to talk to, you can find 24-hour help through the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention.