Salma Hayek is remembering Jill Messick after her shocking death by suicide at age 50.
The actress, 51, took to her Instagram to mourn the late executive who died Thursday. Hayek praised Messick for her hard work as a champion for the “underdog” and how she was able to balance her home life with her busy work one. Hayek worked with Messick on the 2002 movie Frida, which was produced by Harvey Weinstein.
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of Jill Messick. Jill was Frida‘s executive at Miramax. She always navigated the frustrating and hostile environment of Miramax with grace and elegance,” Hayek said alongside a picture of Messick. “She became my ally and my friend. In the many years we worked together I witnessed her professionalism while being pregnant, a mother and through incredible pressure.”
Hayek continued, “She was a girl’s girl and a romantic when it came to fighting for the underdog. I will forever be grateful for her support and kindness. My heart is with her husband Kevin, her precious children Jackson and Ava and her friends and family, that like me cherish her memory. May she Rest In Peace.”
Messick was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had been battling depression in the years before her death, her family told The Hollywood Reporter. In an emotional statement, Messick’s family criticized Rose McGowan and Harvey Weinstein for involving Messick in the controversy over McGowan’s allegations that Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 1997.
Messick’s family says she was devastated after the movie mogul’s lawyer released an email in which Messick defended Weinstein.
“Jill was victimized by our new culture of unlimited information sharing and a willingness to accept statement as fact,” read the statement to THR. “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.”
Messick’s family claims McGowan made “inaccurate accusations and insinuations” against her, but Messick chose not to speak out so as not to take attention away from victims of sexual harassment and assault.
On Jan. 30, Weinstein’s lawyers released an email in which Messick said McGowan had told her she got into the hot tub with Weinstein “consensually” but “regretted” it. Her family says the document was released without Messick’s consent.
“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 consent,” the statement continues. “Harvey’s desperate attempt to vindicate himself, was devastating for her. It broke Jill.”
Weinstein’s lawyer Ben Brafman responded to McGowan’s allegations in a statement to PEOPLE.
“Mr. Weinstein denies Rose McGowan’s allegations of non-consensual sexual contact and it is erroneous and irresponsible to conflate claims of inappropriate behavior and consensual sexual contact later regretted, with an untrue claim of rape.” His spokesperson also said that McGowan “chose to demand money” from Weinstein and worked and appeared with him later in her career.”
In December, Hayek claimed, among other things, that Weinstein had once threatened to kill her when she refused his advances during the making of Frida. In a statement to PEOPLE, Weinstein denied “all of the sexual allegations as portrayed by Salma” though the movie mogul admitted to “boorish behavior.”
For more information about the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — which provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for them and their loved ones, and best practices for professionals — visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org.