Hollywood exec Jill Messick, who served as Rose McGowan‘s manager at the time she was allegedly raped by Harvey Weinstein, committed suicide on Wednesday, Feb. 7 — and her family’s blaming the actress and the disgraced producer. In a statement, her loved ones reveal Jill suffered from depression for years, but that becoming “collateral damage in an already horrific story” was too much to handle.
“Jill Messick was a mother of two children, a loving wife and partner, a dear friend to many and a smart entertainment executive,” the statement reads, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Jill was victimized by our new culture of unlimited information sharing and a willingness to accept statement as fact. The speed of disseminating information has carried mistruths about Jill as a person, which she was unable and unwilling to challenge.”
Harvey and Rose in 2007.
Back in October, Rose told the New York Times that Jill had arranged her meeting with Harvey in January 1997, where she was allegedly attacked by the Miramax co-founder. She said the manager comforted her after she revealed what happened in a hotel suite.
The 65-year-old’s attorney, Ben Brafman, shot down the allegations, using an email from Jill to “prove” that any relations between Harvey and Rose were consensual. Jill’s family claims she couldn’t cope with her name being dragged through the mud.
“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,” their statement continues. “She was loyal. She was strong. Jill was many things, but she was not a liar.”
They go on to attack Rose, saying Jill “chose to remain silent in the face of Rose’s slanderous statements against her for fear of undermining the many individuals who came forward in truth. 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.”
Neither Rose nor Harvey have responded to the news of Jill’s death. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.