So sad! Rose McGowan’s former manager Jill Messick has taken her own life and her family is blaming the actress’ crusade against Harvey Weinstein for the suicide.
The Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse and harassment scandal has taken a sad new turn, as Rose McGowan‘s former manager Jill Messick has taken her own life at the age of 50. Her family released a statement about her Feb. 7 suicide, saying the former Miramax and Paramount Studios exec had battled depression and a bipolar disorder. But they also claimed that the Charmed actress’ crusade against the disgraced movie mogul had taken a toll on Messick by dragging her into the very public battle. In a statement given to our sister site Deadline her family revealed the following:
“Over the past few months, many women have come out with allegations against Harvey Weinstein, including Rose McGowan, who has repeatedly spoken with the press, striking out against not only her alleged attacker, but a great many others. One of them was Jill, who chose to remain silent in the face of Rose’s slanderous statements against her for fear of undermining the many individuals who came forward in truth. She opted not to add to the feeding frenzy, allowing her name and her reputation to be sullied despite having done nothing wrong. She never chose to be a public figure, that choice was taken away from her.”
McGowan has repeatedly claimed that Weinstein raped her at the Sundance Film Festival in 1997. While the former film mogul has given sweeping denials about other victims who have came forward alleging sexual assault, he has gone after Rose’s claims saying their encounter was consensual. Weinstein’s lawyer Ben Brafman brought Messick’s name into the battle when refuting Rose’s allegations. He claimed that her then-manager sent an e-mail saying that Rose allegedly told her she got together with Weinstein, but that it wasn’t rape.
“In an email to Mr. Weinstein regarding the encounter, Jill Messick says the following, “When we met up the following day, she hesitantly told me of her own accord that during the meeting that night before she had gotten into a hot tub with Mr. Weinstein. She was very clear about the fact that getting into that hot tub was something that she did consensually and that in hindsight it was also something that she regretted having done,” Brafman said in in a statement to USA TODAY on Jan. 30. Rose responded in a tweet slamming Weinstein’s legal team for coming after her, saying “F**k you you f**king douche bag loser from hell. You will burn.”
Messick’s family said it was “time to set the record straight” about her side of the story now that she’s gone: “In January 1997, Jill was an entry level manager at Addis Wechsler. One of her first clients was Rose McGowan, and one of Jill’s first duties was to set up a breakfast meeting with Harvey Weinstein during the Sundance Film Festival. Following the meeting, Rose told Jill what had happened – that she made the decision to remove her clothes and get in the hot tub with him — a mistake which Rose immediately regretted. Rose never once used the word rape in that conversation. Despite this, Jill recognized that Harvey had done something untoward to Rose, if not illegal. She immediately went to her bosses, the partners of Addis Wechsler, to recount Rose’s story and to insist that they address the situation. They told Jill that they would take care of it. The ensuing arrangements between Rose and Harvey were then negotiated, completely without Jill’s knowledge. At that time, all Jill knew was that the matter was settled and that Rose continued making films with the Weinsteins. She never knew any details until recently, when Rose elected to make them public.”
In Messick’s family’s statement, they added that: “Jill was victimized by our new culture of unlimited information sharing and a willingness to accept statement as fact. The speed of disseminating information has carried mistruths about Jill as a person, which she was unable and unwilling to challenge. She became collateral damage in an already horrific story.” Messick was a producer on She’s All That, Frida and Mean Girls among her best known films. She also held executive positions at Miramax, The Weinstein Company and Paramount Pictures. She was married with two children. You can read her family’s full statement here.
We’ve reached out to Rose’s rep to see if she has any response to Messick’s death and her family’s claims about what allegedly happened between the actress and Weinstein. We’ve also reached out to Mr. Weinstein’s reps and will keep you updated on this.
HollywoodLifers, are you shocked by Rose’s former manager’s suicide?