Jill Messick, Rose McGowan's ex-manager, 'commits suicide' in LA as family say she was 'collateral damage' in Harvey Weinstein scandal

Alexandra Richards
Jill Messick died in apparent suicide, her family said: Getty

Rose McGowan’s former manager Jill Messick took her own life in Los Angeles, her family have confirmed.

Ms Messick, who worked as a producer on films such as "Friday" and "Baby Mama," committed suicide, her family said in a statement yesterday. The mother of two died Wednesday in Los Angeles. She was 50.

Ms Messick had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and struggled with depression for years, the family said.

They added that she also had been distraught from the recent spotlight on her after details emerged on alleged sexual misconduct by Harvey Weinstein, saying she "became collateral damage in an already horrific story."

Actress Rose McGowan claims Weinstein raped her at the Sundance Film Festival in 1997. She recently said that Ms Messick, who was her manager at the time, failed to support her fight against Weinstein and then took a job with him.

Ms Messick's family says Ms McGowan reported the incident to her without calling it rape, but that Ms Messick, realising something inappropriate if not illegal had happened, reported it to her senior bosses months before she went to work under Mr Weinstein at Miramax.

Mr Weinstein's lawyers quoted from an email from Ms Messick to defend him last month. The email said that Ms McGowan told Ms Messick she consensually got into a hot tub with Mr Weinstein and later regretted it. Mr Weinstein has denied the rape allegations.

Accused: Harvey Weinstein with actress Rose McGowan (Getty Images)

The family said Ms Messick chose not to come forward and defend herself for fear of undermining other women from coming forward on the issue.

"She opted not to add to the feeding frenzy, allowing her name and her reputation to be sullied despite having done nothing wrong," the statement said.

But she suffered nonetheless in silence, the family said.

"Seeing her name in headlines again and again ... along with Harvey's desperate attempt to vindicate himself, was devastating for her," the statement said.

Neither McGowan or Weinstein have commented publicly on Messick's death

Messick is survived by two children, Jackson and Ava, their father, Kevin Messick, her father, Michael, her brother, Jan, and her partner, Dan Schuck.

Additional reporting by the Press Association