Jill Messick, a studio executive and producer and one-time manager of Rose McGowan, died Wednesday in Los Angeles.
According to a statement released by her family, Messick committed suicide, following a long battle with depression and the concurrent accusations of complicity in Harvey Weinstein’s alleged rape of McGowan.
Messick was McGowan’s manager at the time of the actress’s encounter with Weinstein in 1997. In January, Weinstein’s attorney published emails from Messick and actor Ben Affleck in an attempt to refute McGowan’s claims of sexul assault.
In a statement, Messick’s family said that her perceived complicity was devastating. “Seeing her name in headlines again and again, as part of one person’s attempt to gain more attention for her personal cause, along with Harvey’s desperate attempt to vindicate himself, was devastating for her,” they said.
Yet Messick “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,” the statement continued. “Now that Jill can no longer speak for herself, it’s time to set the record straight.”
By Messick’s family’s account, it is “ironic” that McGowan leveled accusations against Messick, as “she was the first person who stood up on Rose’s behalf, and alerted her bosses to the horrific experience which Rose suffered.”
They contend that Messick ultimately became “collateral damage” in the public fight between Weinstein and McGowan.