Rose McGowan has broken her silence on the apparent suicide of her former manager, Hollywood executive Jill Messick, saying in a statement that she hopes the woman’s family finds “solace” amid the tragedy.
Messick, a former executive at Miramax and McGowan’s manager during the time the actress alleges she was raped by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, was found dead of an apparent suicide on Wednesday. She was 50. In a statement confirming her death, Messick’s family had written that the former executive had become “collateral damage” in McGowan’s outspoken media campaign against Weinstein.
“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,” the family wrote.
After remaining silent on the matter for four days, McGowan issued a statement on her Instagram account Saturday.
“For Jill: May your family find some measure of solace during this pain. That one man could cause so much damage is astounding, but tragically true,” McGowan wrote.
“The bad man did this to us both. May you find peace on the astral plane. May you find serenity with the stars,” she added, captioning a photo of the sun beaming down on Earth.
McGowan was one of the first actresses to speak up about her alleged abuse at the hands of Weinstein, including in the October New York Times report that first detailed the decades of allegations of sexual misconduct against the now-disgraced producer.
As more actresses came forward, spurred by the ongoing #MeToo movement, McGowan remained one of the most vocal activists to speak out about sexual abuse in the entertainment industry, often using her Twitter account to publicly chastise industry figures like Ben Affleck and Alyssa Milano.
The actress also released an autobiography, Brave, and launched an E! reality television series, Citizen Rose, which revolves around her life following the allegations against Weinstein and her activism against sexual abuse in the entertainment industry.
But Messick’s family had sharply criticized McGowan in their statement confirming the woman’s death. Weinstein’s legal team had previously released an email purported to be from Messick in which it appeared the executive had been defending the movie mogul.
“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,” Messick’s family wrote. “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.”
Messick is survived by her two children and their father, her father, a brother, and her current partner, Dan Shuck.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum