Kate Spade, 55, died of suicide on Tuesday, New York City’s chief medical examiner confirmed on Thursday. A housekeeper discovered her body hanging in her bedroom.
Spade’s husband writes that “there was no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock.” He writes there was no alcohol or substance abuse, and says the couple was living separately but not discussing divorce. However, the designer’s older sister, Reta Saffo, previously told the Kansas City Star that Kate Spade self-medicated with alcohol and her suicide “was not unexpected.”
Family members in Hollywood also mourned the loss of the handbag icon and female entrepreneur. The designer’s niece Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) wrote on Instagram: “She was exceedingly kind, beautifully sensitive, insanely talented, funny as heck and one of the most generous people I have ever known. She was effervescent.” And Spade’s brother-in-law, comedian and actor David Spade, wrote, “She was so sharp and quick on her feet. She could make me laugh so hard.”
Read Andy Spade’s full statement to the Times below.
Kate was the most beautiful woman in the world. She was the kindest person I’ve ever known and my best friend for 35 years. My daughter and I are devastated by her loss, and can’t even begin to fathom life without her. We are deeply heartbroken and miss her already.
Kate suffered from depression and anxiety for many years. She was actively seeking help and working closely with her doctors to treat her disease, one that takes far too many lives. We were in touch with her the night before and she sounded happy. There was no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock. And it clearly wasn’t her. There were personal demons she was battling.
For the past 10 months we had been living separately, but within a few blocks of each other. Bea was living with both of us and we saw each other or spoke every day. We ate many meals together as a family and continued to vacation together as a family. Our daughter was our priority. We were not legally separated, and never even discussed divorce. We were best friends trying to work through our problems in the best way we knew how. We were together for 35 years. We loved each other very much and simply needed a break.
This is the truth. Anything else that is out there right now is false. She was actively seeking help for depression and anxiety over the last 5 years, seeing a doctor on a regular basis and taking medication for both depression and anxiety. There was no substance or alcohol abuse. There were no business problems. We loved creating our businesses together. We were co-parenting our beautiful daughter. I have yet to see any note left behind and am appalled that a private message to my daughter has been so heartlessly shared with the media.
My main concern is Bea and protecting her privacy as she deals with the unimaginable grief of losing her mother. Kate loved Bea so very much.