Rose McGowan's ex-manager commits suicide after becoming embroiled in Weinstein scandal
Throughout the ongoing Harvey Weinstein scandal, there has been an unspoken assumption that only those who suffered direct abuse at the hands of the disgraced producer are victims. So far, more than 80 women have accused the Miramax co-founder of sexually inappropriate behavior, but they are not the only people to have been affected by his actions.
This week, Hollywood producer Jill Messick, who was Rose McGowan's manager during the 1990s, took her own life after being embroiled in the messy affair. Both McGowan and Weinstein had criticized her for her actions in the scandal, and she apparently felt that there was no way she could continue with her life.
Yesterday, her family confirmed that she had passed away, saying that she "became collateral damage in an already horrific story".
In 1997, when Weinstein allegedly raped McGowan, it was Messick who had set up the meeting between the pair. Obviously, Messick had no idea about what would happen but, in her new book, Brave, McGowan seems to place some of the blame on her former manager.
According to the actress, she confided in Messick about what had happened, but her manager did very little to help with the situation. In fact, McGowan claims, Messick got a job with Weinstein for seven years "right after" he had sexually assaulted the actress.
It's true that Messick did take a job as vice president for development at Miramax - but Messick's family believe that the 50-year-old manager was "misrepresented" in McGowan's account of what happened. They claim that the allegations against Messick seriously affected her, as she was already wrought with depression and had previously suffered at least one manic episode about five years ago.
In a formal statement, Messick's family said: "What makes Rose’s inaccurate accusations and insinuations against Jill ironic was that she was the first person who stood up on Rose’s behalf, and alerted her bosses to the horrific experience which Rose suffered."
Messick's name was brought into official proceedings between McGowan and Weinstein after an email between her and Weinstein.
In the email, she said:
"When we [McGowan and Messick] met up the following day, she hesitantly told me of her own accord that during the meeting that night before she had gotten into a hot tub with Mr. Weinstein. She was very clear about the fact that getting into that hot tub was something that she did consensually and that in hindsight it was also something that she regretted having done."
Weinstein's attorney later used this email to imply that, as McGowan had "consensually" gotten into the hot tub, all actions from that point were also consensual.
However, her family insists that Messick was on McGowan's side throughout the ordeal, and said that she was the one who took it to a higher authority.
"Jill recognized that Harvey had done something untoward to Rose, if not illegal, they said. "She immediately went to her bosses, the partners of Addis Wechsler, to recount Rose’s story and to insist that they immediately address the situation. They told Jill that they would handle the situation."
Messick's family also claim that the manager was not involved in the settlement that happened after that point.
"The ensuing arrangements between Rose and Harvey were then negotiated, completely without Jill’s knowledge," the family stated. "At that time, all Jill knew was that the matter was settled and that Rose continued making films with the Weinsteins. She never knew any details until recently, when Rose elected to make them public."
Messick left behind two children and her partner. Neither McGowan nor Weinstein have commented on her death.