Rose McGowan’s media scuffle with Harvey Weinstein has been blamed for the suicide of the actress’ former manager, Jill Messick, by the dead woman’s family.
The 50-year-old executive, who suffered severe depression for decades, took her own life on Wednesday (07Feb18), after becoming finding herself embroiled in Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault scandal.
After Weinstein was exposed as an alleged serial sexual predator in the New York Times last year (Oct17), McGowan accused the disgraced film boss of raping her at the Sundance Film Festival in 1997, while she was managed by Messick. Jill also became one of Harvey’s employees at his Miramax production company the same year, working for the firm until 2003.
Both McGowan and Weinstein have referred to Messick several times in the press since the sex scandal first broke and now her family members insist the pair are partly to blame for her tragic death.
“Rose’s most recent round of press to promote her book has included new stories involving Jill,” a statement to The Hollywood Reporter reads. “The constant press attention Rose has garnered in print and on national TV led to Harvey Weinstein releasing two documents. One of these was an email that Jill wrote to him months prior to the first New York Times piece coming out, and at his request.
“In this email, Jill offered the truth based on what she remembers Rose telling her about the Sundance account. In the face of Rose’s continued and embellished accusations last week, Harvey took it upon himself to release the email without her (Messick) consent.”
According to the Messicks, the publicized email, which was released by Weinstein in January, led Jill to a mental health meltdown.
“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.
“It broke Jill, who was just starting to get her life back on track. 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.
“Twenty years ago, as a very junior person in a management company hierarchy, Jill exhibited her integrity in doing the right thing – she raised the red flag with the heads of her firm. In the face of inappropriate behavior, Jill handled the situation appropriately.”
Family members insist Jill was a huge supporter of “The Movement” to support victims of sexual assault and was “victimized” in the media by irresponsible parties in the months leading up to her death.
“As we collectively seek to take action in an effort to right the wrongs so brazenly and inhumanely repeated for a generation, we must not forget one simple truth: Words have power,” the statement continues.
“While we illuminate the dark corners for hidden truths, we must remember that what we say, particularly in the media, can have just as much impact if not more than our actions.”
“Words matter. Someone’s life may depend on it,” the statement concludes.
– Cover Media0