Jill Messick suicide: Rose McGowan's ex-manager is 'collateral damage' in Weinstein storm, say family

Rob Crilly
An email from Jill Messick (pictured left in 2007) was used by Harvey Weinstein to counter Rose McGowan's allegations of sexual assault - GETTY IMAGES/AP

The family of Rose McGowan’s former manager have issued an angry statement saying Jill Messick was collateral damage in the fallout of the Harvey Weinstein scandal after she took her own life at the age 50.

The veteran studio executive was McGowan’s manager in 1997 when the actress says she was raped by the disgraced movie mogul.

Messick died on Wednesday, according to her family, who said she had been battling depression and suffered from bipolar disorder.

“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,” said the statement to the Hollywood Reporter.

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In her new memoir, Brave, McGowan writes that she was assaulted by Weinstein after being invited to his hotel suite to discuss her career during the Sundance Festival.

Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

Messick set up the breakfast meeting, according to her family’s statement, and quickly reported McGowan’s subsequent account – which did not mention rape - to her seniors to ensure action was taken.

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As the scandal surfaced again last month, Weinstein publicly used an email from Messick to support his version of events.

“Over the past few months, many women have come out with allegations against Harvey Weinstein, including Rose McGowan, who has repeatedly spoken with the press, striking out against not only her alleged attacker, but a great many others,” said the family in the statement.

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