Film producer, studio executive, and Rose McGowan’s former manager, Jill Messick, died by suicide on Wednesday in Hollywood at the age of 50.
Messick’s family said the producer fought a long-time battle with bipolar disorder and depression and had become “collateral damage” in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and Rose McGowan’s campaign against sexual misconduct.
“Jill was victimized by our new culture of unlimited information sharing and a willingness to accept statement as fact,” the statement published in The Hollywood Reporter reads.
“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.”
Messick worked as McGowan’s manager in 1997, a time when the actress alleged Weinstein raped her. Messick’s family said she was devastated by the release of an email she had written to Weinstein in July 2017 which allegedly defended his behaviour. The email was released by Weinstein’s attorney Ben Brafman, Deadline reports.
“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 continues. “It broke Jill, who was just starting to get her life back on track.
“She 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.”
You can read the Messick statement in full here.
Representatives for both McGowan and Weinstein were contacted for comment by Deadline.
If you or someone you know needs help you can call Lifeline on 131 114 orBeyondblue 1300 224 636.