Jill Messick took her life on Thursday, and a note released hours later by her family places blames for the former Hollywood executive’s death squarely on disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein and actress Rose McGowan.
The 50-year-old Messick was a studio executive at Paramount and Miramax, and at one time served as the assistant to actress Rose McGowan. As Page Six reported, she committed suicide on Wednesday after reportedly battling depression and bipolar disorder for years, and family members say she became hopelessly engulfed in the Weinstein scandal.
In recent weeks, Messick was pulled into the numerous sexual assault allegations against Weinstein after a lawyer for the former Miramax executive released a private email from Messick that they claimed was a defense against Rose McGowan’s rape claims.
Family members wasted no time speaking out about Messick’s death, putting out a statement that took aim at disgraced Miramax boss Harvey Weinstein and the actress with whom she once worked with closely. McGowan had also claimed in her recent book, Brave, that Messick did little to help her.
Messick’s family strongly denied that claim, saying that Jill was one of the first to take action, taking McGowan’s allegations to her superiors.
The family released a full statement in the wake of Jill Messick’s suicide, noting that she was a loving wife and partner and mother of two children who fell victim to a scandal outside her control.
“Jill was victimized by our new culture of unlimited information sharing and a willingness to accept statement as fact,” the family wrote, via Fox News. “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.
“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.”
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 8, 2018
The statement added that Jill Messick chose to remain silent as a series of women came forward with allegations against Harvey Weinstein, even as McGowan leveled “slanderous statements” against her, for fear that she might undermine the brave women coming forward.
At the time Jill Messick committed suicide, she was still very involved in her work and was serving as a producer on the upcoming Minecraft movie. Neither Harvey Weinstein, nor Rose McGowan have responded to the claims from Messick’s family.