Carrie Fisher Faces Trial in Heroin-Related Wrongful Death Lawsuit: Report
Carrie Fisher’s request to be removed from a wrongful-death lawsuit involving a 21-year-old woman who fatally overdosed on heroin after living in the actress’s guesthouse was denied this week.
Fisher filed a motion to remove herself from the complicated case, which concerns the 2010 death of Amy Breliant, who was living in Fisher’s guest house two months before her death. Her motion was denied on Oct. 24 by by Los Angeles Superior Court judge Laura A. Matz, according to court docs obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
“Fisher has failed to meet her burden to establish that she cannot be found responsible, as a matter of law, for the conduct of Boyd, a joint venturer,” reads the order.
Per Judge Matz’s ruling, Fisher will continue to be a defendant in the case, alongside Dr. Stephen Marmer and Warren Boyd, who runs the rehab network that was caring for Breliant at the time of her death.
According to the original complaint — filed in 2013 by Breliant’s family, and obtained by THR — the Star Wars actress had an arrangement with Boyd in which she allowed him to use the guest house on her Los Angeles property as part of his network of sober-living homes. In return, Fisher was paid “a share of Boyd’s profit or revenue, equal to cash payments of $10,000, weekly,” the complaint alleges, according to THR.
According to the same court document, Breliant was assigned to stay at Fisher’s guest house for “rehabilitation” beginning in June 2010. The fact that Fisher received payments from Boyd for Breilant’s stay, the original complaint alleges, is proof that Fisher was in a joint venture with Boyd.
The court papers filed by Breilant’s family “would support a reasonable inference that defendant engaged in contact with respect to taking or obtaining funds or assisting in taking or obtaining funds from the dependent adult with intent to defraud,” Judge Matz wrote in this week’s court order.
The attorney for Breliant’s family, Stephen G. Larson, told PEOPLE, “We are pleased with the Court’s decision ordering Carrie Fisher to stand trial, and we look forward to our day in court and obtaining justice for Amy Breliant.”
He continued, “As explained in our court documents, Warren Boyd used Carrie Fisher’s celebrity status to lend credibility to advance his corrupt drug rehabilitation program. We believe the evidence will show this was nothing short of his greed-driven fraud scheme designed to make money and keep clients hooked on deadly drugs, resulting in Amy’s tragic death.”
Fisher commented on the case, “I feel great compassion for any parent’s loss of their child in an untimely death. I have a daughter. To lose a child is an unimaginable tragedy and the grief must be devastating. Unfortunately, I am not able to talk about the details of this case because it is ongoing.”
Fisher’s attorney Vicki Greco did not immediately respond for comment.
The plaintiff, Amy’s mother, Gianna Breliant, alleges in her complaint that when she enlisted Boyd’s services for help with her daughter’s heroin addiction, she was overcharged for useless and illegal treatment. Boyd denies the charges.
Breliant died of an overdose while living at separate sober-living home run by Boyd in September 2010, according to the documents. At the time of her daughter’s death, Gianna Breliant claims in her complaint that she and her family had paid Boyd approximately $220,000 for a multitude of treatments, including writing and acting coaches.
Boyd claims on his website to be a former addict-turned-rehabilitation expert. His life and work inspired the A&E televisions series The Cleaner, starring Benjamin Bratt. Boyd also produced the show.
Fisher could be due in court as early as May, according to THR.