Actress Rose McGowan’s former manager Jill Messick reportedly ended her own life in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
Messick’s family confirmed the tragic news to The Hollywood Reporter in a lengthy statement to the publication. She reportedly took her life on Feb. 8 after a long battle with anxiety and depression. She was 50 years old.
“‘The Movement’ just lost one of its own. Jill Messick was a mother of two children, a loving wife and partner, a dear friend to many and a smart entertainment executive. She was also a survivor, privately battling depression, which had been her nemesis for years. Today she did not survive. Jill took her own life,” the statement read in part.
“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,” the statement read. “Jill believed in the Movement. She supported every woman finally coming forward to share their dark truths and expose those who had committed previously unspeakable deeds. She was loyal. She was strong. Jill was many things, but she was not a liar.”
Messick served as McGowan’s manager in 1997 during the time she alleged Weinstein raped her. In January, Weinstein’s attorney named Messick as a witness who denied McGowan’s claims. The email was later allegedly released without Messick’s permission. The email reportedly included her account of the 1997 events and was used as defense to the public.
McGowan claimed in her new book, “Brave” that her manager at the time did little to help her after the alleged rape but her family denied it.
“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. 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,” the family wrote.
Tina Fey, who worked with Messick on “Mean Girls” responded to the news telling THR, “This is very sad news and my heart goes out to her family. Jill was instrumental in helping ‘Mean Girls’ get to the screen. She was a fiercely dedicated producer and a kind person.”
Read her family’s entire statement here.