Jill Messick, a veteran film producer, studio executive, and onetime manager of Rose McGowan, died by suicide Wednesday in Los Angeles. She was 50. Messick’s family confirmed the news to the Hollywood Reporter, and said she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and battled depression for years.
In a lengthy statement to THR, Messick’s family also said she became “collateral damage” in Hollywood’s current reckoning with sexual abuse.
Messick was McGowan’s manager in January 1997, when the actress alleges she was raped by Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced mogul who has been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women. (Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.) Last month Weinstein’s attorney, Ben Brafman, quoted old emails attributed to Messick and Ben Affleck in order to defend his client.
The statement from Messick’s family sharply criticized Weinstein, McGowan, and the news media. “Jill was victimized by our new culture of unlimited information sharing and a willingness to accept statement as fact,” the statement said. “The speed of disseminating information has carried mistruths about Jill as a person, which she was unable and unwilling to challenge. She became collateral damage in an already horrific story.”
EW could not immediately reach the Messick family.
As an executive, Messick worked at the Weinstein-run independent studio Miramax from 1997 to 2003, and also at Lorne Michaels Productions, based at Paramount Pictures. Her producing credits included She’s All That, Frida, Mean Girls, and Masterminds.