#MeToo activist McGowan’s ex-manager commits suicide

Rose McGowan
Updated 10 February 2018
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#MeToo activist McGowan’s ex-manager commits suicide

LOS ANGELES: A veteran Hollywood executive who was Rose McGowan’s manager when the actress was allegedly raped by Harvey Weinstein has committed suicide, media reports citing her family said.
Relatives of Jill Messick, who was 50, said in a statement circulated to US media that she had battled depression for years, but had recently felt “victimized” by inaccurate reports of her role in the affair.
Messick, who worked for Addis-Wechsler — now Industry Entertainment — managed McGowan when the actress claimed she was attacked by Weinstein in a hot tub at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival.
Dozens of Hollywood women have accused the disgraced movie mogul of sexual misconduct.
McGowan is promoting an upcoming memoir and is one of the most prominent advocates in the #MeToo social media movement against sexual harassment.
She told The New York Times in October that Messick had arranged the Weinstein meeting, which began in a hotel room.
The revelation — and being further dragged into the headlines as part of an email exchange released by Weinstein — had a damaging effect on Messick’s state of mind, the family said.
“The speed of disseminating information has carried mistruths about Jill as a person, which she was unable and unwilling to challenge,” the family statement reads.
“She became collateral damage in an already horrific story.”
The family went on to accuse McGowan of making “slanderous statements against her,” which the mother-of-two chose not to rebut for fear of undermining victims of sexual assault.
“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,” the statement said.
Messick went to Santa Barbara High School and graduated from the University of Southern California with a communications degree.
She began producing films and television shows in 1999, and also worked as an executive at Paramount’s Lorne Michaels Productions.
Her movie production credits include “She’s All That,” starring Freddie Prinze Jr, Mark Waters’ “Mean Girls,” art biopic “Frida,” with Salma Hayek, and action film “Masterminds” with Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig and Owen Wilson.
McGowan’s representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a top award for comedy

Updated 8 min 18 sec ago
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Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a top award for comedy

WASHINGTON: After a 35-year acting career and with two iconic television characters to her name — Elaine Benes of “Seinfeld” and foul-mouthed Vice President Selina Meyer — Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been honored with the Mark Twain Prize for lifetime achievement in comedy.
On Sunday night at Washington’s Kennedy Center, the 57-year-old actress received a stream of testimonials from celebrities including Jerry Seinfeld, Stephen Colbert and 2010 Mark Twain recipient Tina Fey, touching on the multiple aspects of her career.
“We both started comedy in Chicago,” said Fey, paying tribute by tracking the similarities between their lives.
“We both moved on to ‘Saturday Night Live.’ We both lost our virginity to Brad Hall,” referring to Louis-Dreyfus’ husband and former SNL cast mate, sitting next to the honoree. Fey praised the “secret precision” of her comedy and her willingness to make her Seinfeld character so flawed.
“Julia let Elaine be selfish and petty and sarcastic and a terrible, terrible dancer,” Fey said. “Julia’s never been afraid to be unlikable — not on screen and not in person.”
Louis-Dreyfus is the 21st Mark Twain recipient, joining a list that includes Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Carol Burnett. Bill Cosby, the winner in 2009, had his award rescinded earlier this year after he was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault.
During last year’s ceremony to honor David Letterman, Cosby’s name was never mentioned. But this year, two of the performers felt comfortable making Cosby jokes. Late night host Stephen Colbert displayed a sign proclaiming, “167 days since the last Un-Twaining.”
With his fingers crossed, he told Louis-Dreyfus, “I think you’ll be OK.”
Later Keegan-Michael Key come onstage, dressed as Mark Twain himself and proceeded to roast many of the previous award recipients. When a picture of Cosby was briefly shown, Michael-Key quickly moved things along and said, “It’s OK, he’s not watching,” then added that he doubted PBS was a popular channel “in the penitentiary.”
Seinfeld, while on the red carpet before the ceremony, recalled first meeting Louis-Dreyfus during an informal audition. His iconic sitcom, “Seinfeld,” was still in the planning stages and producer Larry David knew Louis-Dreyfus from their time together on “Saturday Night Live.”
“We had just two short pages of script, and we sat down to read the dialogue together,” Seinfeld said. “As soon as she opened her mouth, I knew she was the one.”
Seinfeld also credited Louis-Dreyfus for having the confidence and strength of personality to hold her own on what he called “a very male show.”
That confidence was evident very early for Louis-Dreyfus, who said she knew as a young child that she had a gift for comedy.
“The first time I really knew was when I stuffed raisins in my nose and my mother laughed. I ended up in the emergency room because they wouldn’t come out!” Louis-Dreyfus said before the ceremony.
Comedian Kumail Nanjiani grew up in Pakistan and never saw an episode of “Seinfeld” until he immigrated to the USas an adult.
“But I became a huge fan as soon as I moved here,” he said.
The co-writer of the movie “The Big Sick” recalled her iconic, slightly convulsive “Elaine Benes dance” on the show, which he credits to Louis-Dreyfus’ gift for physical comedy.
“There are some comedians who think physical comedy is beneath them,” he said. “But she was just fearless and ego-less.”
At the end of the night, Louis-Dreyfus accepted her award with an extended comedic bit and a few shots at new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
The veteran comedic actress first drew laughs by repeatedly referencing her true life’s ambition to be a respected dramatic actress_stopping in mid-speech to deliver a monologue from Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice.”
A native of the Washington suburbs in Maryland, Louis-Dreyfus is a graduate of the elite Holton-Arms school, alma mater of Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of assault.
Louis-Dreyfus make a veiled but unmistakable reference to Ford’s testimony_framing it around her performance in high school of the play “Serendipity.”
“I can remember every single aspect of that play that night, so much so that I would testify under oath about it,” she said, to a round of laughter and applause. “But I can’t remember who drove me there or who drove me home.”
Louis-Dreyfus emerged from Chicago’s famed Second City comedy troupe before joining the cast of “Saturday Night Live.” After her nine-year run on “Seinfeld,” her turn as Vice President Selina Meyer on “Veep” earned her six consecutive Emmy Awards.
The upcoming seventh and final season of “Veep” was delayed as Louis-Dreyfus received treatment for breast cancer. That season is currently in production.
PBS will air the Twain event on Nov. 19.