Rose McGowan's former manager Jill Messick found dead

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Image caption, Jill Messick was Rose McGowan's manager in 1997

Jill Messick, Hollywood producer and former manager of actress Rose McGowan, has died in Los Angeles, aged 50.

Messick represented McGowan in 1997, when the actress alleged she was raped by Harvey Weinstein - which he denies.

McGowan has previously said she was not supported by her management at the time of the alleged attack.

Messick's family confirmed she took her own life on Wednesday, adding that she was used as "collateral damage" in the Weinstein case.

This was after Weinstein's lawyer Ben Brafman published an email from Messick to help deny McGowan's rape claims.

The email from Messick acknowledged that an incident had taken place between McGowan and Weinstein, but described it as "consensual".

Weinstein maintains that McGowan's claim that she was raped by him at the Sundance Festival in 1997 is "a bold lie".

Messick's family said that she had chosen to stay out of the spotlight in recent months and "opted not to add to the feeding frenzy, allowing her name and her reputation to be sullied despite having done nothing wrong".

They say she was "victimised" during the process and could not cope as she suffered from depression and bipolar disorder.

Messick spent five years working at Weinstein's Miramax as an executive between 1997-2003.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption, Harvey Weinstein and Rose McGowan appeared at a premiere for the film Grindhouse in 2007

It was in January 1997 that she first held management responsibilities for McGowan whilst working at Addis Wechsler.

Messick's family said she set up a meeting with McGowan and Weinstein at the Sundance Film Festival as one of her first duties.

Her family said in their statement that McGowan told Messick about the alleged assault but did not use the word rape.

Messick then went to her bosses at Addis Wechsler to recount the story and her family say this was when a settlement was reached between McGowan and Weinstein.

Ten months later, in November, Miramax offered her a production job.

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