Fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead in her New York City apartment on Tuesday, June 5. Law enforcement sources told TMZ that Spade’s housekeeper found her with a red scarf around her neck. The scarf had been affixed to the doorknob of her bedroom closet.
Spade and her husband, Andy, had been married for 24 years. According to TMZ, the two were having marriage trouble, and Andy was set to file for divorce. The site went on to report that the couple had already separated and that Andy had moved out of the family’s home.
“We’ve learned Andy Spade was not living at the family home … he and Kate had separated and he was living in a nearby apartment. Our law enforcement sources say after their interview Tuesday they were clear … Andy wanted a divorce but Kate did not,” TMZ reported on Wednesday, June 6. Interestingly, Andy was reportedly at the home when his wife’s body was found.
Sources also told TMZ that Kate Spade was suffering from extreme depression before she died. Kate Spade’s older sister, Reta Saffo, emailed the Kansas City Star and revealed that Spade had been suffering from mental illness for the past couple of years and that she’d been “self-medicating with alcohol.” She told the outlet that her sister’s suicide wasn’t “unexpected.”
You can read part of that email below:
“I will say this was not unexpected by me. I’d flown out to Napa and NYC several times in the past 3-4 years to help her to get the treatment she needed (inpatient hospitalization). She was always a very excitable little girl and I felt all the stress/pressure of her brand (KS) may have flipped the switch where she eventually became full-on manic depressive. … I’d come so VERY close to getting her to go in for treatment. I’d spoken with them on the phone (not telling them exactly who the patient would be). They agreed to fly in and talk with her and take her with them to the treatment center.”
Despite several attempts by Kate Spade’s family to get her help, her pain was too much for her to handle, explained Saffo.
“Sometimes you simply cannot SAVE people from themselves,” she also wrote in the email.
Saffo went on to say that her sister seemed fixated on the death of comedian Robin Williams back in 2014; Williams took his own life by hanging himself.
“I think there was a plan even as far back as then,” Saffo added.
Kate Spade is survived by her 13-year-old daughter, Frances. Spade left a suicide note that was addressed, at least in part, to her only child.
“Bea – I have always loved you. This is not your fault. Ask Daddy,” the note read in part, according to TMZ. It is unknown how long the note is or what else it may have said.