Jim Carrey is set to face trial for the death of his girlfriend Cathriona White after a judge refused to dismiss two wrongful death lawsuits filed against Carrey.
White, a make-up artist from Ireland, was found dead in her Los Angeles home in September 2015. A post-mortem found the 30-year-old died from an overdose of various prescription drugs, with a coroner recording her death as suicide.
White’s mother, Brigid Sweetman, and estranged husband, Mark Burton, are suing the 55-year-old actor, alleging that Carrey provided the drugs used in White’s suicide.
A judge at Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday made it clear she would not throw out the case despite Carrey’s lawyer, Raymond Boucher, requesting him to do so and branding the lawsuits “predatory” and “malicious”.
Judge Deirdre Hill has set a trial date for 26 April 2018 and estimated the trial will last 20 days.
Speaking after the hearing, Mr Boucher said: "Mr Carrey loved Ms White dearly and so obviously it will be a very painful process for him."
Carey, who is famed for his roles in The Mask, The Truman Show and Dumb and Dumber, denies all the allegations launched against him. In court his lawyer, Mr Boucher, suggested it was probable the allegations under drugs legislation would not tally with the statute of limitations, saying the wrongful death claims were too vague.
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Burton's original complaint, which he filed last year, claimed: "Carrey wrongfully and illegally obtained these drugs in clear violation of California law."
It also accused Carrey of attempting to "conceal and obfuscate his involvement and culpability in Miss White's untimely and tragic death".
In a statement issued at the time, Carrey remarked on the lawsuits, saying: “What a terrible shame.
"It would be easy for me to get in a back room with this man’s lawyer and make this go away, but there are some moments in life when you have to stand up and defend your honour against the evil in this world.
“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.
“I really hope that some day soon people will stop trying to profit from this and let her rest in peace.”
Additional reporting from Press AssociationReuse content