On June 5, the world was stunned to learn that designer Kate Spade had died by suicide at her home in New York City.
Spade, 55, became a star in the fashion world during the 1990s thanks to her iconic handbags.
Spade’s husband has broken his silence about her sudden death.
In a statement published in The New York Times on June 6, Andy Spade addressed his wife’s longtime struggle with depression and stated his priority to care for the couple’s 13-year-old daughter, Bea, in the wake of their family’s tragedy.
Here is the statement in full:
“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.”
Kate Spade’s brother-in-law, comedian David Spade, took to Instagram to pay tribute to his brother’s wife:
Kate Spades’s older sister, Reta Saffo, confirmed that she had been suffering from mental illness for the past several years.
“She was a dear little person,” Saffo told The Kansas City Star. “So dear — so kind, so funny, I’ll miss our 6-7-hr-long phone conversations between New York and New Mexico.”
RELATED: Many celebrities and fans are mourning Kate Spade. The luxury fashion company Coach announced it was purchasing the company for $2.4 billion last year. They paid tribute to the namesake designer upon the news of her death:
The designer’s suicide quickly began to spur a larger conversation about mental health and the insidious nature of mental illness like depression, which affects so many, even those, like Spade, who seem to “have it all.” We’re wishing all of Spade’s loved ones peace and strength as they mourn this tragic loss.