Jill Messick, a studio executive, producer, and former manager of actress Rose McGowan, died by suicide, her family confirmed Thursday. She was 50.
In a blistering statement, Messick's family said she had privately battled depression for years, and after her name came up as part of the scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein and allegations of sexual misconduct made against him, it "broke" her. "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 family said.
Messick was McGowan's manager in 1997, the year the actress alleges Weinstein raped her in his hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival. Messick's family said she learned about an encounter between McGowan and Weinstein, and "alerted her bosses to the horrific experience which Rose suffered." Messick believed the matter had been settled when McGowan continued to make movies with Weinstein, her family said, and "never knew any details until recently, when Rose elected to make them public." McGowan has accused Hollywood of protecting Weinstein and ignoring allegations of abuse against him.
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Messick also worked at Weinstein's Miramax from 1997 to 2003 as a production executive, and in January, Weinstein's legal team released a statement that included a quote attributed to Messick, which backed his version of events: that his encounter with McGowan was consensual. "It broke Jill," her family said. Messick is survived by two children and her partner, Dan Schuck.
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