White, Carrey’s ex-girlfriend, intentionally overdosed on prescription medication, which was supposedly provided by Carrey. The wrongful death lawsuit against Carrey was filed by White’s estranged husband, Mark Burton, and White’s mother, Brigid Sweetman, who amalgamated their complaints into one single case.
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.
There was some hope for a settlement out-of-court between the parties, but Burton and Sweetman’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, has insisted multiple times in the past that he wants Carrey to take the stand at trial and has been demanding his deposition for months.
Now that Carrey and his team have permission to use White’s medical records, he can use them to defend himself.
Carrey’s lawyer, Raymond Boucher, had previously attempted to get the judge to throw the lawsuit out of court, calling them “malicious” and “predatory.” Carrey himself has called the lawsuits a “shakedown,” and denies any wrongdoing on all accounts.
Boucher contends that White recently had breast augmentation surgery, and had been prescribed painkillers and other pills that ultimately led to her overdose.
“One of the issues is her prescription medication,” said Boucher in court. “We know she had breast surgery that month, we know she had oxycodone prescribed to her.”
Her family’s legal team attempted to argue against the medical records’ admission on privacy grounds, but Judge Deirdre Hill ruled that the records could be disclosed.
Another big issue involving White’s medical past is whether or not she had any sexually transmitted infections (STIs) prior to dating Carrey.
While both lawsuits focus on whether Carrey was culpable in White’s death, Sweetman also contends that Carrey infected her daughter with multiple STIs and then tried to get her to sign a document alleviating him of responsibility. White’s family members say that Carrey was responsible for giving her herpes type 1 and type 2. (None of these 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.” The team is insistent that she contracted the viruses elsewhere.
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 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.
After Tuesday’s hearing, Boucher declared the ruling an “extremely important” win for Carrey.
“The most important thing is we want the medication evidence,” he said. “We want to be able to establish that Mr. Carrey absolutely did not transmit any herpes and he did not give her his pain medication and she could access her own.”
Avenatti replied to Boucher with confidence, saying Carrey should be “very nervous.”
“We are pleased because now the same standard will apply to Mr. Carrey,” he retorted.
The actor will face the jury trial in April 2018.
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.