Horrible news out of Hollywood this week:
Jill Messick, a former Miramax producer who once managed actress Rose McGowan, committed suicide suicide on Wednesday, her family has confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.
She was 50 years old.
This is terribly sad - but it may have gone largely unnoticed by the mainstream press if Messick's family had not released a pointed statement in response to the tragedy.
Released by Messick's loved ones to The Hollywood Reporter, the statement places the blame for this suicide on Harvey Weinstein... McGowan herself... and members of the press for how they covered the #MeToo movement.
Weinstein, of course, is the former head of Miramax who has been accused of sexual assault by dozens of women.
McGowan has claimed for years that she is one of these women, while she's now a leading voice for the #MeToo movement, which seeks to empower victims of rape and misconduct.
Messick, meanwhile, represented McGowan in 1997, at the time she says she was raped by Weinstein.
The late producer/manager later took an executive position at Miramax, then led by Weinstein.
“Jill was victimized by our new culture of unlimited information sharing and a willingness to accept statement as fact,” reads the emotional statement.
"She became collateral damage in an already horrific story.”
The full statement, which is available at The Hollywood Reporter, goes on to say that Messick was devastated after the film mogul’s attorney released an email in which Messick defended Weinstein.
"The speed of disseminating information has carried mistruths about Jill as a person, which she was unable and unwilling to challenge," it says.
Messick's relatives acknowledge that McGowan told her about an incident with Weinstein...
... but they insist that Messick "stood up on Rose's behalf" and “alerted her bosses to the horrific experience which Rose suffered.”
Continues the statement:
“She opted not to add to the feeding frenzy, allowing her name and her reputation to be sullied despite having done nothing wrong.
"She never chose to be a public figure; that choice was taken away from her.”
The family also mentions that Messick was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
After discussing with Messick and her management team what transpired with Weinstein, McGown is on record as saying she did not feel much support.
In their message to the public on Thursday, Messick’s loved ones criticized journalists for publishing the aforementioned correspondence between Messick and Weinstein.
“We must take a moment to consider the ramifications and consequences of what we say and what we do,” the family’s statement reads, concluding:
“Words matter. Someone’s life may depend on it.”
McGowan, for her part, has been on a mission to reveal the truth about Weinstein, the culture in Hollywood and everything else related to this ongoing sexual harassment scandal in entertainment.
It has thus far ended the careers of such A-Listers as Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K., among MANY others.
Weinstein’s attorney, Ben Brafman, previously responded to McGowan’s allegations in a statement to People Magazine that reads:
“Mr. Weinstein denies Rose McGowan’s allegations of non-consensual sexual contact."
"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 has said that McGowan “chose to demand money” from the producer and worked and appeared with him later in her career.
On January 30, Weinstein’s lawyers released an email in which Messick said McGowan had told her she got into a hot tub with Weinstein “consensually” yet “regretted” it.
Her family here says the document was released without Messick’s consent.
"Harvey’s desperate attempt to vindicate himself, was devastating for her. It broke Jill.”
May Jill Messick rest in peace.