Fashion designer Kate Spade suffered from depression and anxiety for years before her death Tuesday by apparent suicide, her husband of 24 years, Andy Spade, said in a statement released to The New York Times.
“She was actively seeking help and working closely with her doctors to treat her disease, one that takes far too many lives,” he said Wednesday.
Spade said his wife was seeing a doctor regularly and taking medication for depression and anxiety.
“This is the truth. Anything else that is out there right now is false,” he said. “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.”
The Spades launched Kate Spade New York in 1993 after they met years earlier as students at Arizona State University. They were married in 1994 and have one child together, 13-year-old Frances Beatrix Spade.
Andy Spade, who said he had been living separately from his wife in the 10 months prior to her death, said he spoke with her the night before her death and that, “She sounded happy.”
“There was no indication and no warning that she would do this,” he said. “It was a complete shock. And it clearly wasn’t her. There were personal demons she was battling.”
Police told The Associated Press that a housekeeper found Kate Spade’s body Tuesday morning in her New York City apartment. She was 55.
Dermot Shea, the New York Police Department’s chief of detectives, told the AP that a note found at the scene pointed to “a tragic suicide.”
Andy Spade said Wednesday that he had yet to see a note from his late wife, although quotes purported to be from the note have been published by some celebrity gossip sites.
“(I) am appalled that a private message to my daughter has been so heartlessly shared with the media,” he said. “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.”
Andy Spade said that despite their separate living arrangements, he and his wife never discussed divorce.
“We were not legally separated,” he said. “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.”
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