Jill Messick, Rose McGowan’s Former Manager, Commits Suicide – Family Blames Weinstein Scandal
Rose McGowan’s former manager Jill Messick committed suicide on Feb. 8. Messick was 50 years old.
Messick’s family released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter in which they said she was “collateral damage” in the “horrific story” of fallen producer Harvey Weinstein’s years of abuse.
“Jill was victimized by our new culture of unlimited information sharing and a willingness to accept statement as fact,” the family’s statement read. “The speed of disseminating information has carried mistruths about Jill as a person, which she was unable and unwilling to challenge.”
Messick’s family also spoke out about McGowan, who accused Weinstein of raping her at the Sundance Film Festival in 1997. McGowan has said that after the incident, she and Weinstein reached a $100,00 settlement.
The New York Times reported in 2017 that McGowan said Messick supported her when she initially told her about what happened with Weinstein, but that McGowan said that later on, she didn’t feel that her management team supported her.
The family said McGowan made slanderous statements about Messick, who set up the initial breakfast meeting between Weinstein and McGowan.
“Now that Jill can no longer speak for herself, it’s time to set the record straight,” the statement read. “Following the meeting, Rose told Jill what had happened — that she made the decision to remove her clothes and get in the hot tub with him — a mistake which Rose immediately regretted. Rose never once used the word rape in that conversation. Despite this, Jill recognized that Harvey had done something untoward to Rose, if not illegal.”
The family said Messick immediately went to her bosses to tell McGowan’s story and insist that they immediately address it, and Messick was told the situation would be handled.
“The ensuing arrangements between Rose and Harvey were then negotiated, completely without Jill’s knowledge,” the statement read. “At that time, all Jill knew was that the matter was settled and that Rose continued making films with the Weinsteins. She never knew any details until recently, when Rose elected to make them public.”
Messick suffered from bipolar disorder and depression, and, after McGowan’s accusations and during her recovery from a manic episodes five years prior, she broke, her family said.
The statement then went on to warn against using the media as a tool, and that it should not be used to create more victims.
“There is a responsibility when using a platform to accurately expose criminals, predators, mistruths and misdeeds while protecting the actual truth of third parties,” the statement read. “As we collectively seek to take action in an effort to right the wrongs so brazenly and inhumanely repeated for a generation, we must not forget one simple truth: Words have power.”
McGowan has not issued a statement on Messick’s death.