Andy Spade, the husband of designer Kate Spade, is speaking publicly about his wife’s death at age 55.
“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,” Spade tells The New York Times on Wednesday. “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.”
Spade, who is the co-founder of the Kate Spade New York fashion brand, reveals Kate had battled mental illness for years and her death comes as a shock to the family, refuting comments made by the designer’s estranged sister, Reta Saffo.
“Kate suffered from depression and anxiety for many years,” he continues. “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.”
Spade also announced he and his wife had been “living separately” for the past 10 months, with their daughter living with both parents. He also says the couple either saw or spoke to each other every day, while continuing to share as many family meals together as possible. They also still took family vacations as a unit.
“We were not legally separated, and never even discussed divorce,” he adds. “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.”
He reiterates that his wife was seeking treatment and was currently taking medication for both depression and anxiety.
“This is the truth. Anything else that is out there right now is false.,” he continues. “There was no substance or alcohol abuse. There were no business problems.”
Despite reports Kate left a suicide note addressed to their daughter Bea, Spade says he has not seen it. ET Canada can now confirm Kate Spade’s cause of death was ruled a suicide by hanging after confirmation from the New York Medical Examiner.
“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,” his statement reads, before asking for privacy for the couple’s daughter.
“My main concern is Bea and protecting her privacy as she deals with the unimaginable grief of losing her mother,” he states. “Kate loved Bea so very much.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.
The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868) all offer ways for getting help if you or someone you know is suffering from mental health issues.