Our condolences to the family of Jill Messick, Rose McGowan's former manager, who died by suicide in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Her family says that "seeing her name in headlines again and again" as part of the Harvey Weinstein scandal "broke" Messick.
Messick, who was 50, had bipolar disorder and had been battling depression in recent years, her family told The Hollywood Reporter.
The statement says Messick was devastated after Weinstein's lawyer released an email in which Messick seemed to defend the former movie mogul. They are also blaming McGowan, whom they say made "inaccurate accusations and insinuations" against Messick, to whom she reported her alleged 1997 assault by Weinstein.
"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," Messick's family stated. "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."
The family says that Messick "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... She became collateral damage in an already horrific story."
According to Messick's family, Messick immediately reported McGowan's alleged assault to her bosses, who told her they would "handle the situation." Messick's family says that the 1997 settlement between Weinstein and McGowan, which was made public as part of the October New York Times article, was negotiated without Messick's knowledge.
"She never knew any details until recently, when Rose elected to make them public," the family stated.
"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," the statement said. "It broke Jill, who was just starting to get her life back on track. What makes Rose's inaccurate accusations and insinuations against Jill ironic was that she was the first person who stood up on Rose's behalf, and alerted her bosses to the horrific experience which Rose suffered. Twenty years ago, as a very junior person in a management company hierarchy, Jill exhibited her integrity in doing the right thing — she raised the red flag with the heads of her firm. In the face of inappropriate behavior, Jill handled the situation appropriately
McGowan, who recently suspended her tour to promote her new book, "Brave," has not yet responded. Weinstein continues to claim that everything that happened between him and McGowan was consensual.