McGowan caught criticism for posting a photo of herself holding and Impact Award from January's Digital-Life-Design Conference instead of addressing Messick's suicide. The actress had not commented on Messick's death since it was confirmed on Thursday.
McGowan deleted the celebratory photo and added a whole new one with a dedication. "For Jill: May your family find some measure of solace during this pain. That one man could cause so much damage is astounding," she wrote in the caption, likely referring to Harvey Weinstein, whose whirlwind of allegations played a role in her death according to her family. "The bad man did this to us both."
Messick's family says her death came after mounting pressure and misinformation when she got caught up in McGowan's allegations against Weinstein (his lawyer defended him by citing a Messick email that claimed McGowan and Weinstein's encounter was consensual). In a statement, Messick's family said she was struggling with depression and had just started getting her life together after a manic episode five years ago. The allegations "broke" Jill.
"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, " said the statement.
If you or anyone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.