“For Jill: May your family find some measure of solace during this pain,” McGowan began.
“That one man could cause so much damage is astounding, but tragically true. The bad man did this to us both. May you find peace on the astral plane. May you find serenity with the stars.”
McGowan’s comments followed a scathing statement from Messick’s family to The Hollywood Reporter, calling Messick’s death “collateral damage” in the Harvey Weinstein scandal that shook Hollywood and sparked a global movement against sexual abuse. The family specifically blamed McGowan, Weinstein and journalists for contributing to stress in Messick’s life.
“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,” Messick’s family said.
Messick, 50, was McGowan’s manager in 1997, the year McGowan told The New York Times in an article published in October that Weinstein raped her. McGowan told the Times she informed her manager about the attack shortly after it occurred.
“She put her arms around me,” McGowan told the paper. But in the months that followed, McGowan said she did not feel Messick supported her legal fight against the now-disgraced studio mogul.
Messick later took a job at Miramax, helmed by Weinstein at the time. She went on to produce hit films, including “She’s All That” and “Mean Girls.”
Messick’s family rejected the suggestion that she was not supportive to McGowan, saying she was “the first person who stood up on Rose’s behalf.”
Weinstein has called McGowan’s rape accusation “a bold lie” through his lawyer, claiming the actress told Messick soon afterward that the encounter was consensual. Weinstein in late January provided news outlets with emails from Messick detailing what she remembered of the day McGowan told her about the alleged rape.
A representative for Weinstein has not replied to HuffPost emails seeking comment.
Messick is survived by her two children, along with her father, brother, and partner.
If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HELLO to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.