Still reeling from his wife Kate Spade’s apparent suicide, Andy Spade spelled out an immensely personal situation Wednesday afternoon to try to quell the media circus that has ensued.
Spade said in a statement that although his wife suffered from depression and anxiety for many years, “she was actively seeking help and working closely with her doctors to treat her disease.”
Noting that he and his daughter, Bea, 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 wrote in the statement.
The 55-year-old designer was found by her housekeeper in her Park Avenue apartment Tuesday morning, after apparently hanging herself. At a press conference Tuesday, NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said there was a note on the scene, but declined to get into the contents of that note. Various news reports quoted police sources as indicating the note was written for her daughter.
In an e-mail exchange with The Kansas City Star, Reta Saffo, one of the designer’s five siblings, said family members “struggled mightily” to get Kate Spade the help she needed but to no avail. Andy Spade presented a very different story.
“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,” he wrote.
Spade also spoke of the state of their marriage. “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,” he said in the statement, which was obtained by WWD after first being reported by The New York Times. “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.”
Spade continued, “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 five 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 coparenting 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.”
Further emphasizing that their 13-year-old daughter is his priority, Spade wrote, “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.”
He declined further comment through a spokesman.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been finalized, a spokesman for the Spade family said Wednesday.