Studio executive and producer Jill Messick has died from suicide on Wednesday (February 7), her family tells The Hollywood Reporter.
Jill‘s family tells THR that she suffered from years of depression and was “victimized” when she found herself in the middle of the Weinstein-McGowan allegations before saying Jill “became collateral damage in an already horrific story.”
“Over the past few months, many women have come out with allegations against Harvey Weinstein, including Rose McGowan, who has repeatedly spoken with the press, striking out against not only her alleged attacker, but a great many others,” Jill‘s family says. “One of them was Jill, who chose to remain silent in the face of Rose’s slanderous statements against her for fear of undermining the many individuals who came forward in truth. 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.”
Over the past couple of months, Rose claimed that Harvey raped her back in 1997 while they were at the Sundance Film Festival that year. Jill‘s name recently made headlines when Harvey’s attorney, Ben Brafman, released an email written by Jill in defense of the disgraced film producer.
“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,” her family continues. “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.”
You can read Jill‘s family’s entire statement at HollywoodReporter.com.