LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Rose McGowan’s former manager, Jill Messick, has taken her own life.
Messick was 50 and lived in Los Angeles with her family, including two children.
Her family blames the actress, disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein and some media coverage for breaking Messick.
In her documentary, McGowan accused Messick of betrayal, saying that she eventually took Weinstein’s side and even took a job with him.
Messick’s family said she remained a strong supporter of McGowan’s and that after the alleged incident, McGowan never used the word rape. Messick’s take? McGowan said she got into a hot tub with Weinstein and later regretted it.
Messick’s family told the Hollywood Reporter that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had been fighting depression for several years. For the family’s full statement, click here.
In an emotional statement, Messick’s family criticized McGowan and Weinstein for putting her in the middle.
Messick’s family says she was especially devastated after Weinstein’s lawyers released a private email in which Messick said she’d remembered McGowan, saying she had sex with Weinstein and later regretted it.
“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 says she wanted to publicly deny many of McGowan’s claims of betrayal but believed doing so would take attention away from other victims.
McGowan said that after believing Messick believed her and “put her arms around me” she began to believe she’d lost the support of Messick and her management team.
A lawyer for Weinstein, Ben Brafman, told 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.”
Ten months after the alleged incident, Messick was hired as an executive at Miramax, the studio then headed by Weinstein and his brother Bob. Messick’s family stresses she earned that job on merit. She worked for Miramax from 1997-03.
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 the statement, Messick’s family told the Reporter, “Harvey’s desperate attempt to vindicate himself, was devastating for her. It broke Jill.”
They ended with a somber message.
“Words matter. Someone’s life may depend on it.”
As a producer, Messick’s credits included “Mean Girls,” “Baby Mama,” “She’s All That” and “Frida.”