Video Suggestions

by | Mar 2, 2018

Video 1

“Lawsuit against Jim Carrey from Ex-Girlfriend’s Family Dismissed”

According to the article, Jim Carrey is no longer facing a lawsuit from the family of his late girlfriend, Cathriona White.

“The case against him has been dismissed,” Carrey’s attorney, Raymond Boucher, announced.

Carrey, 56, began dating makeup artist White, 30, in the summer of 2012 after they met on a film set. The Irish-born woman was found dead in a Sherman Oaks, California, home on September 28, 2015; the Los Angeles County coroner’s office later ruled White took her own life by overdosing on prescription drugs, including Ambien, Propranolol and Percocet (oxycodone and acetaminophen).

The actor was a pallbearer at her funeral in Ireland.

In 2016, Carrey was hit with a wrongful death lawsuit from his late girlfriend’s husband, Mark Burton, her mother, Brigid Sweetman, and their lawyer, Filippo Marchino, accusing him of illegally obtaining and giving her the powerful painkillers she used to kill herself in September 2015. They also alleged that Carrey gave White “three STDs without warning her.”

Carrey countersued, saying White had tried to extort him after the two broke up in early 2013 and that he made a “mistake” of settling a false STD claim with her to avoid mounting a public defense, which “is a very costly and painful process.”

The Hollywood Reporter says that Carrey’s attorney had recently asked the court to compel Burton to provide White’s STD test results. Through discovery, Boucher concluded that a 2011 document showing White had clean test results prior to meeting Carrey was a forgery.

Recently, he told the media the underlying case was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiffs, removing the possibility of Carrey, 56, going to trial.

At the time of White’s death, Carrey issued a statement calling her “a truly kind and delicate Irish flower, too sensitive for this soil, to whom loving and being loved was all that sparkled.”

Note: In addition to the video, please also refer to the following article included at the above-referenced internet address:

Discussion Questions

1. What is a “wrongful death” lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action in which the plaintiff seeks redress from the defendant for the defendant’s intentional, extremely reckless, or grossly negligent acts that proximately resulted in the death of the victim.

2. According to the article, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the wrongful death case against Jim Carrey. What is a voluntary dismissal? What is the legal effect of a voluntary dismissal?

A voluntary dismissal represents the plaintiff’s decision to remove the case from civil litigation by withdrawing the complaint against the defendant. A voluntary dismissal can be either “with prejudice” or “without prejudice.” If the voluntary dismissal is with prejudice, the plaintiff is forever barred from pursuing the cause of action against the defendant. If the voluntary dismissal is without prejudice, the plaintiff is typically allowed a period of time (for example, one year) to refile the cause of action against the defendant.

3. Based on the information provided in this article, are the plaintiffs in this case at risk for defamation liability because they have alleged that Jim Carrey gave Cathriona White “three (sexually transmitted diseases) without warning her?”

Defamation is defined as a defendant’s false statement of fact or bad faith opinion asserted against the plaintiff that substantially and adversely affects the reputation of the plaintiff. In terms of whether the subject claim is defamatory, student opinions may vary. It is important to note that the party who asserts defamation has the burden of proof.


Video 2

“Morgan Geyser Makes Tearful Apology; Is Handed Max Sentence in Slender Man Stabbing”

According to the article, a Wisconsin girl inspired by fictional horror character Slender Man to try to kill a classmate made a tearful apology before she was sentenced recently to spend 40 years in a mental institution.

Judge Michael Bohren granted the maximum penalty that prosecutors had sought for Morgan Geyser for stabbing Payton Leutner in suburban Milwaukee in 2014. He discounted Geyser’s youth – she was just 12 – at the time of the attack.

“What we can’t forget is this was an attempted murder,” Bohren said. He said he believed Geyser remained a risk to hurt herself and others, and called it “an issue of community protection.”

Geyser, now 15, spoke briefly before she was sentenced. She broke down in tears, apologizing to the girl she stabbed.

“I just want to let Bella and her family know I’m sorry,” Geyser said, using a nickname for Leutner. “I never meant this to happen. And I hope that she’s doing well.”

Geyser and another girl, Anissa Weier, admitted that they lured Leutner into some woods near a suburban Milwaukee park. Geyser stabbed Leutner 19 times while Weier urged her on, according to investigators. Leutner was left for dead but she crawled out of the woods and got help from a passing bicyclist.

All three girls were 12 at the time.

Geyser and Weier said they carried out the attack to curry favor with Slender Man, a fictional online horror character typified by spidery limbs and a blank white face.

Doctors who evaluated Geyser provided conflicting opinions at Thursday’s sentencing hearing in Waukesha County Circuit Court about the type of institutional care Geyser needs and the severity of her continued hallucinations.

Prosecutors wanted Geyser to spend the maximum 40 years in a mental hospital. To make their case, they presented testimony from a doctor who said Geyser reported still hearing voices from someone named “Maggie” as recently as September.

Dr. Brooke Lundbohm acknowledged that Geyser has made significant progress over the last three years, but said she emphatically believes she is still a danger to herself and others.

“This is not a close call,” she said.

Geyser’s attorneys advocated for her to be moved to a less restrictive facility with children her age and the possibility of being able to be on outings with supervision if she is well enough.

Two doctors called by the defense said Geyser no longer exhibits psychotic symptoms.

“I believe at the present time she is no more dangerous than any adolescent her age,” said Dr. Kenneth Robbins.

The hearing lasted most of the afternoon and included victim impact statements.

Geyser pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree intentional homicide in October in a deal with prosecutors to avoid prison.

Weier was sentenced to 25 years in a mental hospital in December. She had pleaded guilty in August to being a party to attempted second-degree intentional homicide, but she claimed she was not responsible for her actions because she was mentally ill. In September, a jury agreed.

Geyser’s attorneys have argued in court documents that she suffers from schizophrenia and psychotic spectrum disorder, making her prone to delusions and paranoid beliefs.

A psychiatrist hired by her attorneys previously testified that Geyser believed she could communicate telepathically with Slender Man and could see and hear other fictional characters, including unicorns and characters from the Harry Potter and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. She also believed she had “Vulcan mind control.”

Slender Man started with an online post in 2009, as a mysterious specter whose image people edit into everyday scenes of children at play. He is typically depicted as a spidery figure in a black suit with a featureless white face.

Note: In addition to the video, please also refer to the following article included at the above-referenced internet address:

Discussion Questions

1. Define attempted murder.

An attempt is defined by law as a substantial step toward the commission of an intended crime. Accordingly, attempted murder is defined as a substantial step toward the unlawful taking of the life of another human being with malice aforethought. Any attempt is fact-specific—its proof would be based on the facts and circumstances of a particular case.

2. As the article indicates, Morgan Geyser was sentenced to spend 40 years in a mental institution, the maximum penalty that prosecutors had sought for her for stabbing Payton Leutner. In your reasoned opinion, is this sentence appropriate? Why or why not?

This is an opinion question, so student responses may vary.

3. What is a victim impact statement?

According to the National Center for Victims of Crime:

“The purpose of victim impact statements is to allow crime victims, during the decision-making process on sentencing or parole, to describe to the court or parole board the impact of the crime. A judge may use information from these statements to help determine an offender’s sentence; a parole board may use such information to help decide whether to grant a parole and what conditions to impose in releasing an offender. A few states allow victim impact information to be introduced at bail, pre-trial release, or plea bargain hearings.”

For further information regarding victim impact statements, please see the following internet address: