Jill Messick, a Hollywood producer and executive who once worked for Miramax under Harvey Weinstein’s leadership and served as Rose McGowan’s manager, has taken her own life after a long battle with depression, her family says. She was 50.
Following her death, Messick’s family released a blistering statement condemning Weinstein, McGowan, and the media for their portrayals of Messick, who “became collateral damage in an already horrific story”.
“Jill was victimised by our new culture of unlimited information sharing and a willingness to accept statement as fact,” the family said in a lengthy statement to the Hollywood Reporter.
“The speed of disseminating information has carried mistruths about Jill as a person, which she was unable and unwilling to challenge.”
The family accused McGowan of making “slanderous statements” against Messick, sullying her name and her reputation.
Messick was McGowan’s manager in January 1997 when, the actress alleges, she was raped by disgraced producer Weinstein. Messick later worked as a production executive at Miramax, then led by Weinstein. Miramax, founded in 1979 by Weinstein and his brother, Bob, has produced and distributed numerous successful movies. The Weinsteins sold the company in 1993.
Messick’s name became entrenched in the Weinstein scandal when McGowan told the New York Times in October that Messick arranged the meeting with Weinstein during which she was allegedly raped. McGowan told the Times that she confided in Messick, her manager, about what had happened. “She held me,” McGowan said. “She put her arms around me.”