#MeToo activist McGowan’s ex-manager commits suicide

Rose McGowan
Updated 10 February 2018

#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.


At 90, Alaska Native woman is 1st counted in US Census

In this Monday, Jan. 20, 2020 image, Lizzie Chimiugak looks on at her home in Toksook Bay, Alaska. (AP)
Updated 22 January 2020

At 90, Alaska Native woman is 1st counted in US Census

  • The decennial US census has started in rural Alaska, out of tradition and necessity, ever since the US purchased the territory from Russia in 1867

TOKSOOK BAY, Alaska: Lizzie Chimiugak has lived for 90 years in the windswept western wilds of Alaska, born to a nomadic family who lived in mud homes and followed where the good hunting and fishing led.
Her home now is an outpost on the Bering Sea, Toksook Bay, and on Tuesday she became the first person counted in the US Census, taken every 10 years to apportion representation in Congress and federal money.
“Elders that were before me, if they didn’t die too early, I wouldn’t have been the first person counted,” Lizzie Chimiugak said, speaking Yup’ik language of Yugtun, with family members serving as interpreters. “Right now, they’re considering me as an elder, and they’re asking me questions I’m trying my best to give answers to, or to talk about what it means to be an elder.”
The decennial US census has started in rural Alaska, out of tradition and necessity, ever since the US purchased the territory from Russia in 1867. The ground is still frozen, which allows easier access before the spring melt makes many areas inaccessible to travel and residents scatter to subsistence hunting and fishing grounds. The mail service is spotty in rural Alaska and the Internet connectivity unreliable, which makes door-to-door surveying important.
The rest of the nation, including more urban areas of Alaska, begin the census in mid-March.
On Tuesday, Steven Dillingham, director of the census bureau, conducted the first interview after riding on the back of a snowmobile from the airport to Chimiugak’s home.
“The 2020 Census has begun,” he told reporters after conducting the first interview with Chimiugak, a process that lasted about five minutes. “Toksook Bay isn’t the easiest place to get to, and the temperature is cold. And while people are in the village, we want to make sure everyone is counted.”
Dillingham was hours late getting to Toksook Bay because weather delayed his flight from the hub community of Bethel, about 115 miles (185 kilometers) away. Conditions didn’t improve, and he spent only about an hour in the community before being rushed back to the airport.
After the count, a celebration took place at Nelson Island School and included the Nelson Island High School Dancers, an Alaska Native drum and dance group. Later, the community took over the commons area of the high school with a potluck of Alaska Native foods, including seal, moose and goose soups, herring roe served with seal oil and baked salmon.
Robert Pitka, tribal administrator for Nunakauyak Traditional Council, hopes the takeaway message for the rest of the nation is of Yup’ik pride.
“We are Yup’ik people and that the world will see that we are very strong in our culture and our traditions and that our Yup’ik language is very strong,” he said.
For Chimiugak, she has concerns about climate change and what it might do to future generations of subsistence hunters and fishers in the community, and what it will do to the fish and animals. She talked about it with others at the celebration.
“She’s sad about the future,” he eldest son Paul said.
Chimiugak was born just after the start of the Great Depression in the middle of nowhere in western Alaska, her daughter Katie Schwartz of Springfield, Missouri, said. Lizzie was one of 10 siblings born to her parents, who lived a nomadic lifestyle and traveled with two or three other families that would migrate together, her son said.
Lizzie and her 101-year-old sister from Nightmute, Alaska, survive.
In 1947 Lizzie married George Chimiugak, and they eventually settled in Toksook Bay after the town was founded in 1964 by residents of nearby Nightmute. There are five surviving children.
He worked maintenance at the airport. She did janitorial work at the old medical clinic and babysat.
Like other wives, she cleaned fish, tanned hides and even rendered seal oil after her husband came home from fishing or hunting. Her husband died about 30 years ago.
She is also a woman of strong Catholic faith, and told her son that she saved his life by praying over him after he contracted polio.
For her own hobbies, she weaved baskets from grass and remains a member of the Alaska Native dance group that performed Tuesday. She dances in her wheelchair.
She taught children manners and responsibility and continued the oral tradition of telling them stories with a storyknife.
Chimiugak used a knife in the mud to illustrate her stories to schoolchildren. She drew figures for people or homes. At the end of the story, she’d use the knife to wipe away the pictures and start the next story with a clean slate of mud.
“She’s a great teacher, you know, giving us reminders of how we’re supposed to be, taking care of subsistence and taking care of our family and respecting our parents,” her granddaughter Alice Tulik said. “That’s how she would give us advice.”