McGowan manager’s suicide
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.