Rose McGowan has been on the front lines in the battle against sexism and sexual abuse in Hollywood. The actress, who is currently promoting her memoir, has not just confined her accusations to the men who abused her. She has methodically called out all those who she believes failed to protect her from predators.
That includes Jill Messick, McGowan’s former manager, who took her own life on Wednesday. McGowan has accused Messick of failing to protect her from Harvey Weinstein when his abuse first began, an allegation that made headlines repeatedly.
This negative media attention is, in large part, what Messick’s family believes led the producer to lose her battle against depression.
In a statement obtained by the Hollywood Reporter, Messick’s family writes:
“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. What makes Rose’s inaccurate accusations and insinuations against Jill ironic was that she was the first person who stood up on Rose’s behalf, and alerted her bosses to the horrific experience which Rose suffered. Twenty years ago, as a very junior person in a management company hierarchy, Jill exhibited her integrity in doing the right thing — she raised the red flag with the heads of her firm. In the face of inappropriate behavior, Jill handled the situation appropriately.”
“Harvey’s desperate attempt to vindicate himself” is in reference to an email sent from Messick to Weinstein which appears to cast his actions towards McGowan as consensually received. Weinstein publicly released this email without permission from Messick.
McGowan has yet to comment on the family’s statement or on Messick’s suicide.
Becky Scott is the editor of The Schmooze. Follow her on Twitter, @arr_scott