McGowan man­ager’s sui­cide

The Weekend Australian - - WORLD - AFP

LOS AN­GE­LES: A veteran Hol­ly­wood ex­ec­u­tive who was Rose McGowan’s man­ager when the ac­tress was al­legedly raped by Har­vey We­in­stein has com­mit­ted sui­cide, me­dia re­ports cit­ing her fam­ily say.

Rel­a­tives of Jill Mes­sick, 50, said in a state­ment that she had bat­tled de­pres­sion for years, but had re­cently felt “vic­timised” by in­ac­cu­rate re­ports of her role in the af­fair.

Mes­sick was a ju­nior at tal­ent agency Ad­dis-Wech­sler when McGowan claimed she was at­tacked by We­in­stein in a hot tub at the 1997 Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val.

McGowan is pro­mot­ing a mem­oir and is one of the most prom­i­nent ad­vo­cates in the #MeToo move­ment against sex­ual ha­rass­ment.

She told The New York Times in Oc­to­ber that Ms Mes­sick had ar­ranged the We­in­stein meet­ing, which be­gan in a ho­tel room.

The reve­la­tion, and be­ing dragged into the head­lines as part of an email ex­change re­leased by We­in­stein, had a dam­ag­ing ef­fect on Mes­sick’s state of mind, her fam­ily said.

“The speed of dis­sem­i­nat­ing in­for­ma­tion has car­ried mis­truths about Jill as a per­son, which she was un­able and un­will­ing to chal­lenge,” the fam­ily state­ment reads. “She be­came col­lat­eral dam­age in an al­ready hor­rific story.”

The fam­ily ac­cuses McGowan of mak­ing “slan­der­ous state­ments against her”, which the mother of two chose not to re­but for fear of un­der­min­ing vic­tims.

Mes­sick be­gan pro­duc­ing films and tele­vi­sion shows in 1999, and also worked as an ex­ec­u­tive at Para­mount’s Lorne Michaels Pro­duc­tions.

Her movie pro­duc­tion cred­its in­clude She’s All That, Mean Girls, art biopic Frida and ac­tion film Mas­ter­minds.

McGowan’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

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