Kate Spade committed suicide yesterday in her Park Avenue apartment

Kate Spade

I honestly didn’t believe this when the news broke yesterday, I thought it was fake news. Kate Spade committed suicide in her New York City apartment on Tuesday morning. She lived in a spacious Park Avenue spread, and her housekeeper was the one who found her. Reportedly, Spade left a suicide note for her daughter, Frances, who is 13 years old. There’s no mention in any of the coverage about whether she left a note or letter for her husband of 24 years, Andy Spade, although TMZ reported that Andy was “home at the time she died.”

In an absolutely bizarre and macabre coincidence, it seems like Spade hanged herself much like designer L’Wren Scott did in 2014, with a scarf tied to the door. Unlike L’Wren, it didn’t seem like there was much going wrong in Spade’s personal or professional life. I know that doesn’t matter to someone who is clinically depressed, but it’s human nature to look for a “reason” why someone would take their own life. In L’Wren’s case, her business was in financial trouble and her boyfriend (Mick Jagger) was unfaithful. In Kate Spade’s case, she had taken a step back from her massively successful eponymous line in 2007, then the Kate Spade-label was sold to Tapestry last year for $2.4 billion.

Kate’s family released a statement, saying: “We are all devastated by today’s tragedy. We loved Kate dearly and will miss her terribly. We would ask that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this very difficult time.” Her label released this statement:

“We at Kate Spade New York just learned of the incredibly sad news that Kate Spade has passed. Although Kate has not been affiliated with the brand for more than a decade, she and her husband and creative partner, Andy, were the founders of our beloved brand. Kate will be dearly missed. Our thoughts are with Andy and the entire Spade family at this time.”

[From E! News]

I don’t have any answers or explanations for this. It’s just sad and awful. By all accounts, Kate Spade was a lovely and generous person who was adored and respected by everyone she met.

Note by Celebitchy: This news comes as a great shock to so many of us. I currently carry a Kate Spade purse and have owned and loved her purses for almost twenty years. The Fug Girls have an essay in Cosmo on how Spade created affordable luxury and an enduring brand, even as she stepped away from her role designing purses. They explain her influence much better than I can. I’m surprised at how much her death upsets me, even as I realize that I knew very little about her. I hope that her family can find peace after this tragedy, particularly her daughter.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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243 Responses to “Kate Spade committed suicide yesterday in her Park Avenue apartment”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    So incredibly sad. I’m kind of surprised by how upset I was at the news. I know very little about her besides that I like her brand (even though she sold it), but I feel like she has just been a part of American fashion life for decades now.

    I also did not realize she was so young. Only 55.

    Just a tragedy.

    • L84Tea says:

      I reacted the same way. I was incredibly upset over this yesterday–more than I would expect to be. I still am.

    • dana m says:

      I was so surprised my self to hear this news. But in researching all the news agencies, I came to the conclusion that her husband was probably already involved with someone else which may have lead to her suicide. It was reported that he had asked for a divorce and was living apart from her, so I am just speculating.

      I feel the worst for her 13-year-old daughter. Bless her heart. This tragic event will forever be engraved in her heart and soul. This is not fair to her. But I can only imagine that it’s terribly difficult for someone with mental illness to think clearly during a moment of deep depression to be able to evaluate consequences and to really ponder on the major impact this would have on their minor children.

      I am in awe of those who seek help. What a brave and courageous step. It shows your selflessness and strength.

      • jwoolman says:

        Dana M — No, when someone allegedly happy-go-lucky kills themselves, they weren’t always happy-go-lucky and it’s not the fault of anybody else. She knew she was leaving a devastated 13-year-old behind. And yet that didn’t stop her.

        Whenever people are baffled about such suicides that seem out of the blue, they should immediately think “bipolar”. It’s a potentially deadly disease. It must have been horrible to have untreated episodes of deep depression. But that’s not her husband’s fault, no matter what he was doing. It’s due to the disease itself. The normal response to marriage difficulties is not to off yourself, especially when you have a child to think about. Heck, even if you just have a cat or a turtle to think about.

        We normally have a feedback mechanism in our brain so when we’re depressed over a sad event or situation, the depression gradually lifts and we adjust to the circumstances and start to think about ways to deal with it. We don’t start planning to kill ourselves. On the contrary, there is a very high natural barrier to suicide. But with bipolar disorder, that feedback mechanism fails and the person goes deeper and deeper into the abyss of depression instead of adjusting.

        I remember when my relative had a relapse after several years of successfully being off the medication on the advice of his doctor (this was just lithium carbonate back then). He didn’t go to the doctor because he couldn’t believe it was the clinical depression coming back. (He was always unipolar actually, no manic phases.) Everything in his life was going well. Then boom – he was back in the abyss. It takes a few weeks for medication to kick in even if it’s the correct one at the correct dose. Suicide is a real risk, especially when the person is feeling a little better. (In the abyss, many people just can’t easily bring themselves to do anything.
        They don’t have the energy. But the thought of another painful episode can be too much to bear.) The doctor told him to make sure he lived with someone else for the duration, so he bunked in with an aunt and uncle. I called him every day, and it was like talking with a stranger. His voice was flat, he hardly said a word. This is a guy who ordinarily would talk your ear off. And yet he said later, when the drug had stabilized him, that it did help that I called him anyway.

        But you can see how out of the blue the deep depression episodes can be and how unrelated to life events they can be. It’s possible that she was angry enough at her husband to want to make him think he was responsible for her suicide. But he really wasn’t. The pain of the disease overwhelmed her.

  2. Sam the Pink says:

    Every time I hear about a suicide (famous or not), I always think about how pointless it is. A few years back, I was finally exposed to the work of a man named Richard Seiden, who is a suicide expert in San Francisco – his work is fascinating and sad. He followed over 500 people who had been prevented from jumping off the Golden Gate bridge over the years. And what he found was stunning – out of all of them, 94% were either still alive or had died on non-suicide causes. Only 6% had gone on to end their own lives. Most people who end their own lives are in acute crisis (as opposed to the image of methodically planning it for a long time). His research found that there is “crisis period” – he placed it around 90 days, on average – and if you can get them over that crisis period, by and large, you can save them.

    That always sticks with me when I read this stuff. If she just had somebody to reach out to, some support, maybe this would be different. If she had someone to get her through her crisis, maybe it would be different. And now her husband, her daughter, everyone who loved her, will have to live with it. I read that supposedly, her husband may have been looking to move out – I HOPE nobody tries to put this on him. And her poor little girl. Losing a parent is hard in any context. In suicide, it is ten times worse. She has such a road ahead of her.

    • still_sarah says:

      I have been through major depressive episodes in the past. I am much better now – meds and awareness. People reached out to me before (when I didn’t know I had clinical depression) and I pushed them away. I didn’t feel that I could do anything other than stay in my shell and not go outside of that. I am very sad to hear about Kate Spade. And yes, her daughter has a hard road ahead of her.

    • maxine ducamp says:

      A Kansas City Newspaper had a statement from her sister. Apparently, she had been trying to get Kate into a treatment facility for years for her depression. She almost succeeded a few times but Kate always backed out at the last minute purportedly fearful that if word got out it would damage the “happy-go-lucky” image of the Kate Spade brand. Her sister finally gave up trying to make her go because she felt that trying to force her wasn’t working. It is so incredibly sad and I’m sure that her poor sister is wondering what might have been if she’d been successful. So sad for her daughter especially.

      • Cannibell says:

        My sister and I were 13 (her) and 14 (me) when our father died by suicide more than 40 years ago. Our mother’s response was to cover it up, which caused even more collateral damage. We are heartbroken for Frances to have to join the club no one wants in on.

      • Brunswickstoval says:

        This still might have happened even she got her help. My brother took his own life while he was in the care of a psychiatrist. It’s not always enough. But I agree her sister will be left wondering what else she could have done.

      • Sam the Pink says:

        But that’s a well known thing in suicidology – that the risk of suicide actually INCREASES when treatment begins. The theory is that when a person is deep in the untreated throes of a depression, they may have suicidal intentions but generally lack the energy or willpower to do it. When treatment begins, they often find some energy returning and finally complete it. What you are describing isn’t an abberation or unusual – it’s a well-documented thing, sadly. That’s why some professionals are starting to favor more intensive options for suicidal individuals (such as short term hospitalizations) or more intensive interventions.

      • Veronica S. says:

        That says as much about the stigma against mental illness in America as it does Kate herself. Imagine how many lives we could save and improve if we started treating diseases of the mind with the same respect and seriousness as the physical.

      • minx says:

        Here’s the link to the Kansas City article. Her sister reveals a lot about KS. Maybe bipolar?

      • M says:

        Yes – the KC Star is my local paper and the article was quite interesting. Looks like the sister took a sedative then was emailing and talking to the reporter but it did shed some light on what was going on. I’ll look for the link

      • BJ says:

        People Magazine says Kate’s family says this sister hasn’t seen Kate in 10 years.

      • Vizia says:

        I started my career in Suicide Prevention, and 27 years of treating clients has told me this–most people just need someone to hold onto their hope for them until they can hold it for themselves, and then go on to happier, healthier lives. But some people, particularly those with bipolar or other genetically-based depressions, have a much harder time getting out of the cycle, particularly if they either refuse meds because they don’t like how they make them feel, or can’t find a medication/therapy that helps at all. And for those people, even if they have great personal and professional support and resources, there may be a window of time when they make a quick impulsive decision with no one around to stop them. I have no idea if this applies to Kate, but it happens.

      • Esmom says:

        Veronica S., yes. I have often said that people wouldn’t try to power through cancer or diabetes without medical treatment and brain disorders should be regarded exactly the same way. It’s tragic to think Kate avoided treatment because she thought it might hurt her brand. I don’t think she would have thought being treated for cancer would have hurt it.

        I just had breakfast with a friend who went through a very bad depressive episode this winter. He said if he hadn’t changed meds when he did, he would very likely not be here today. Thank goodness he reached out when he needed it and pulled through.

      • JustBitchy says:

        Cannibell so sorry for your loss, but thank you for sharing. It is indeed a tragic club to belong to. You are very strong and resilient-your ability to share this trade by proves that. Light, love and life ☘️

    • Brunswickstoval says:

      She may have had support. As a person who has had an immediate family member commit suicide I find my feelings about comments like “if she’d just had someone to help her” or sentiments like that hard to hear. Sometimes people can be surrounded by love and support and yet they still do this.

      • Sam the Pink says:

        Support generally refers to professional support. Loved ones are not in a position that professionals are (in fact, loved ones can often, unintentionally, make situations worse).

      • Twiggys Eyeliner says:

        @Brunswickstoval – I stand with you.

        My own beloved brother died by suicide a little over four years ago. My SIL and I were providing around the clock home care, as well as taking him to professional care. We did everything within our power to get him the best possible care – at home, in patient, and within institutions.

        I understand people mean well when they say, “If only they had someone to reach out to.” They are looking for a way to comfort themselves and draw a line in the sand between the trauma of someone else’s suicide, and what possible help they would provide given the circumstances , but it does leave a sour taste in the mouths of the people who have done their best, or are left behind, and have to live their lives now knowing it wasn’t enough.

        It is a completely different beast going through the trauma of losing someone by suicide versus being an outsider imagining the type of care you would provide. Again, I know no one means it as a casually cruel comment, but please bear in the mind the caregivers who were someone to reach out to, and have to live with their shortcomings.

      • Aren says:

        There really is nothing a friend or relative could have done or said to prevent it. Suicide is a very private issue, and it’s not related to the “out” but to what happens “in”.

      • LadyT says:

        That is heartbreaking Twiggys. His suicide is not your shortcoming. You did everything and more. Some things are just beyond our control even if you fight it with every fiber of your being. I am so sorry.

      • Anne says:

        To be honest, I think there’s very little loved ones can do to help when you’re in the throes of depression. When I was suicidal, my family and friends did everything they could short of admitting me to a full-time care facility, and it didn’t matter a single bit. Frankly, the more they tried the more I felt like an absolute failure, so the more they tried the more I pulled away. What did help was their love and care after I made the decision to not commit suicide. Honestly after going through all of that I still can’t really see how anyone could have truly helped me in a time I didn’t want to help myself.

        So please don’t feel as if you haven’t done enough to help your family or friend if they committed suicide. Depression is a truly internal battle, one some people choose (for a given definition of choose) to face alone because by the time you realize you need help, your brain has already convinced you that everyone who would help you would be better off without you.

        To this day I don’t know what could have helped me during that time. What I do know is this: at absolutely NO point in time did I ever blame anyone for not helping me or reaching out to me. All I truly wanted was for everyone I love to be healthy and happy. The fact that my brain convinced me the way to do that was to remove myself from the equation was my depression’s fault. Even had I succeeded, I would never have wanted anyone to blame themselves for what I chose to do.

        I don’t know if that helps, but I hope it does. I don’t know your loved ones, but from someone who has gone through this, I just want to tell you what I would have wanted people to tell my loved ones – it’s not your fault. Your son/daughter/brother/sister/mother/father died because they were sick. It’s not because you didn’t do enough or love them enough. It’s sad and tragic, but it truly is not your fault, and your loved ones wouldn’t want you to blame yourself either.

      • minx says:

        Agree with all of this. We need to stop blaming the loved ones and the sufferers and just help.

      • CatherinetheGoodEnough says:

        I am grateful for all the enlightened comments above. My dear cousin died by suicide a few years ago. She had all the support and resources available. Many months after her acute crisis, when she was by all measures feeling and functioning better, her immediate family still employed a caregiver just to be around for safety and support. One day she told her caregiver she was going to take a nap, and proceeded to hang herself in her bedroom. Part of our family’s collective healing has been to embrace the caregiver, who is now a friend, and repeatedly reassure her that there was absolutely nothing she could have done.

      • Wren says:

        The thing is, you cannot force people to do things. In the short term, yes, but in the long run, no. It’s natural to wonder about “what if” but it all comes down to what the person is willing or not willing to do. You can do your best, but if they are not ready or willing then you cannot help. And that is the real tragedy.

        I was fortunate in that the person in my family who threatened suicide DID want help. They were willing to accept help and made the effort to get well. Not everyone is.

    • Anne says:

      The information about the study is very interesting, and jives with personal experience as well.

      I had a major depressive episode about 7 years ago and was actively searching for the best way to commit suicide for a month or so. Fortunately for me, the method I decided on required me to be at home, and I didn’t want to traumatize my roommate, so I put it off for another month until the end of the school year. The definite plan helped me a great deal and brought me a lot of peace at the time. But when the time came, I tried but found that acute wave of despair had passed and I just didn’t want to die anymore. So I finally called my parents after months of silence and reached out. I never tried again.

      Depression is a strange and scary animal. During my depression, I thought of things that are so scary and astonishing to me now. At one point, I was waiting for take-out at a restaurant, and as I sat there, I stared at the ceiling for half an hour, marveling at how good the ceiling slats for hanging yourself and plotting how to get access to those so I can use them. When I eventually reached out for help, my doctor asked me a lot of questions in a increasingly befuddled manner, because on paper, my life was going just fine.

      But the thing is, depression doesn’t make sense. It makes even ordinary things (like walking down the street) seem almost impossible, and brings such despair at the belief that only failure and terribleness lies before you. Those thoughts are lies though – because things can be tough and painful, yes, but also bright and wonderful. For me, once I truly recovered from that episode and I finally realized just how odd my thought process became during that time, I finally had the chance to see depression for the deception it is. And once I knew, I became better at protecting myself. You learn what to watch out for because you learn what it feels like. So now, I reach out and ask for help before it gets to that point, because I once made it through and I know I can again. I understand now that I don’t actually believe ending my life is the best thing to do, and I can hold onto that certainty and experience when depression strikes me down and try to whisper lies into my head.

      • Brunswickstoval says:

        @samthepink I know what support means. My brother died while in the care of a psychiatrist. A commentator above says that’s most likely. Other commentators say they need more professional support. It’s very confusing for everyone left behind who just tries to do everything they can and it still isn’t enough

      • PlainJane says:

        Anne, thank you so much for sharing your experience! This is one of the most beautiful and thoughtful things I have ever read.

      • Esmom says:

        Anne, I’m glad you’re ok now. And thanks for sharing so eloquently. I have been there, too, as has my 18 year old son.

      • CatherinetheGoodEnough says:

        So powerful. Thank you for sharing your experience. I truly believe that many anonymous people will read your words and be helped by them.

      • Nibbi says:

        Your words are really helpful. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    • Wren says:

      I’ve read about his work too and found it very practical and helpful. It agrees with my own experience as well, that it is an acute crisis that will pass if you can get the person through the critical time. I took a family member who threatened suicide to the ER and stayed with them there. It was not fun times, and my memory of that day is a haze of anxiety and crying. What stuck out to me was though the ER staff were very nice and extremely professional, very little true support was available in our (admittedly small rural) community and the bulk of support and counseling would fall onto me. Which it did. We got through and the person is in a much better place and happy again. Honestly I’m still recovering from this. The lack of mental health resources where I live is incredibly disheartening. It’s not something you think about until you need it, and when you do need it, you find yourself adrift.

    • Anon says:

      There is research from the UK that shows that only selling paracetamol (Tylenol) pills in blister packs results in a measurably lower suicide rate than selling pills in pots. Even the time that it takes to pop pills out of the pack can be time enough to help someone reconsider. This seems to chime with the research you describe – that the vast majority are in “acute crisis” rather than “methodically planning”. I always thought it was both incredibly sad and incredibly heartening that such a tiny thing could tip the balance. Sad that some don’t get that tiny push away from the brink, but heartening that you truly can make a real, genuine difference to someone in the crisis stage. I come across many suicides in the course of acting as a lawyer at inquests. It is always a heart rending tragedy and I am thinking of her family.

    • Aren says:

      If Kate’s sister had tried to get her into treatment for years, then it wasn’t something that fits the description of that research.

    • Chaine says:

      I think the study is interesting although clearly there were still a small percentage who went on to complete a suicide. Someone I know once stopped a random teen from jumping off an interstate overpass. Saw him sitting on the barrier, stopped car, got out and talked to him for a while about what he was struggling with, then drove him home. They both live in the same local area and several years later the teen completed high school and got a job and is doing just fine.

    • Mar says:

      I am fascinated by your comment – what an interesting statistic

    • Anika says:

      I lost my own mother at 12, to suicide, and it is not something I have ever gotten over, 21 years later. I never will. I have no doubt that had my mother lived, I would have been a fuller, happier, more resilient, rooted person than I am, or will ever be. I understand depression very well now, and it’s the reason I refuse to have children: I would literally sooner die than leave a child subjected to the fate of the echoic, deeply ruthless, endless loss of a parent’s suicide. There were no arms in the world, after my mother’s suicide, wide or deep enough to shelter or to hold me; there will never be.

      • Christin says:

        Anika, I am so sorry. I wish you peace and comfort.

        I almost avoided clicking on this post earlier today. However, there are such moving and informative comments here. So many of you have opened my eyes to many things, especially where depression is involved.

      • Spicecake38 says:

        Anika,I’m sorry for what you’ve had to endure.I wish you peace,comfort,and love.I wish much good will come into your life,and whatever void you’re dealing with because of the loss you suffered will heal somehow.My mother left me when I was very young and a piece of me has always felt worthless.Your mom left you by choosing to die,and I know it’s not exactly the same,but I think I can identify with how you must feel.May you be blessed

        Christin,I’ve commented a few times on this post throughout the day,but I’m right with you,at first I was hesitant but reading so many comments and opinions has been truly enlightening

      • Frida_K says:

        My mom did the same thing as your did. It’s not been that long–seven years now, more or less–and my grief is like a black pit with a cover over it. I can approach it on occasion, lift the top and let some steam out, and then I have to back away and let the lid slam down. It’s so painful.

        I’m sorry for your loss, Anika. Each one of us has our own story when our mothers do this so I can’t say “I know just how you feel!” but I can say that you are not alone. And when I read other people’s comments, like yours, that reflect my experience, I feel less lonely. I thank you for that.

        I hope we all will see a day when this hurts just a little less. May we all find peace and comfort.

      • JustBitchy says:

        Anika and Frida K, thank you for bravely sharing your story. They are tragedies that no words could adequately explain. Your strength in sharing points to your resilience and compassion. May you have light, love and peace always. ☘️

      • magnoliarose says:

        Anika and Frida K. My heart goes out to both of you. Thank you for your honesty.

      • Dana M says:

        Frieda and Anika, my heart goes out to you. I constantly think about and pray for children who have experienced this type of traumatic life-changing event.

    • Sticks says:

      That sounds like a really interesting study, Sam the Pink. Thanks for sharing.

    • Vox says:

      That’s not always the case though. Sometimes people know exactly what they’re doing with suicide. I think sometimes people’s decision needs to be respected even if it’s heartbreaking. I had a friend who chose to end her life rather than descend into suffering from her cancer (she didn’t start treatment and would have had quite a long time to live even though it was terminal) although she had friends and a loving girlfriend who she left behind. It was tragic to lose a friend, especially so young, but I also know she’d wanted to do it for a long time – far longer than 90 days – and was going to do it regardless of attempts at intervention. In the end it was her life and her choice to end it. And I say this as a person who suffers intense unipolar depression with suicidal ideation myself.

  3. Jane says:

    I have one purse from her and cherish it like it was gold now. I feel terrible that she was unable to cherish life, and was in so much pain she had to end it. I feel so terrible for her daughter. There are rumors flying about concerning what was in the suicide note directed towards her. I shan’t repeat it here, because it would be inappropriate. That poor girl, what she must be going through right now. :(

    • Lorelei says:

      That never should have been made public. Disgusting that someone sold that info to TMZ.

      • Jess says:

        TMZ crossed so many lines yesterday it was insane, showing her body on a stretcher being wheeled out was absolutely horrifying on their part.

      • Jane says:

        I agree. People will do pretty much anything for money right now. It is worrisome that people choose a tragedy to gain from it.

      • Snowflake says:

        I can’t believe people filmed her body being wheeled out.

    • Becks1 says:

      That’s disgusting (both that the note was leaked and that TMZ was posting those kinds of pictures.)

      • Jane says:

        TMZ should be ashamed of themselves.

      • M.A.F. says:

        @Jane- TMZ doesn’t care one way or the other. And they will continue to do this as long as there are people who can be bought. If they have information from her note, then either they threw money at the maid, a police officer, or another person who was on the scene.

      • Christin says:

        It should be TMG – Too Much Garbage. It’s bottom feeding all the way.

    • Spicecake38 says:

      Is there nothing sacred enough that media will not exploit?!This is news,yes.Private family details,however, should be off limits.

    • Nic919 says:

      TMZ goes hard after everyone except for the Orange one and his family. There should be some kind of movement to stop them because while being a tabloid is bad, covering up the actions of a wannabe dictator and traitors (and predator) is far worse.

    • magnoliarose says:

      TMZ is an MRA site. I think it is time to stop pretending otherwise. Harvey Levin is the worst kind of snake and he hates women.

    • brooksie says:

      I also hate that her sister is revealing so much information one day after the suicide.

      • Lorelei says:

        That sister’s “interview” should never have been published either, IMO. Kate had not been dead for six hours yet, she admitted to taking sedatives before the reporter called her (!!), and the family hadn’t even had a chance to state that the sister hadn’t seen Kate in almost a decade.

        The coverage yesterday was revolting — TMZ and the Fail were the worst. No surprise there, but it is beyond gross how insensitive it all was. Her daughter is going to see ALL OF IT so maybe exercise some restraint?! Isn’t that what editors are there for?

      • jwoolman says:

        It’s possible that the sedative played the biggest part in her sister’s revelations. She didn’t have the usual inhibitions, much as might be the case for someone intoxicated from alcohol.

        But also she might have been feeling a mix of emotions, including relief that the pain had stopped for her sister. That how we felt when our mother died of cancer. Sad that she wasn’t able to do all the things she wanted to do, but definitely a huge sense of relief that the pain was over for her. We were the happiest ones at the wake. Well, until the booze kicked in for the rest of the family and friends…. So telling the story that she had kept confidential for so long (hence the other family members’ insistence that she hadn’t had contact for years, when pretty obviously she did – her description of the situation rang very true) may have felt therapeutic. Kate was worried about people finding out about her depression. This very well may have included everybody else in the family but her sister.

  4. Seraphina says:

    I too thought it was fake news. My heart goes out to her family but especially her little girl. Suicide is a difficult thing to understand but even more so for a young mind. I pray that she finds strength and lots of love and support from her father and relatives to see her through.

    So according to Daily Mail, her husband wanted a divorce and was planning on moving out. And the note to her daughter read that she always loved her and it wasn’t her fault and to ask her dad. If that is true: ouch!!! I’m leaving this alone. Ouch ouch ouch.

    • Qzie says:

      There is a lot of speculation about their marriage, but according to her sister, Kate’s struggles were profound and may have exhausted those around her. Having been a caregiver to a significant other with mental health issues for several years, it is exhausting–and all the love in the world can’t help them if they can’t help themselves, like her sister Renee said about Kate. Here is the article she is quote in http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article212609069.html

    • Jan90067(aka imqrious2) says:

      A friend of mine is a good family friend. I was talking to her today, and she said that Kate and her husband were separated (it wasn’t widely known), and that a divorce was quietly going through. Cheating was involved on the husband’s part, and made Kate more despondent.

  5. Scal says:

    I bought a Kate Spade dress nearly a decade ago for a wedding (from the sale rack). It’s classic. Timeless and I still get compliments every time I wear it.

    This made me so sad for her family esp her daughter. To lose your mother at such a young age-my heart breaks for her.

    • Onerous says:

      The tragedy of losing a mother at any age is devastating. To be 13 and have to reconcile that your mother chose to leave you (even if that’s not exactly true) will be just enormously difficult to reconcile.

      My cousin killed herself when her daughter was 5. And from what I understand is that people who are suicidal often feel like they are causing active harm to those around them. Like they are hurting people by staying alive. It’s so tragic.

      • CatherinetheGoodEnough says:

        Yes. Thank you Onerous. Many people who die by suicide truly believe that the world will be better off without them. It’s rarely a “selfish” act, no matter how often the media (or whomever) describes it as such.

  6. Jess says:

    I’m seeing reports that her husband wanted a divorce and had moved out of their apartment. I’m still processing it but now that “ask daddy” part of her suicide note has new meaning, and it’s making me sick to my stomach if she did what I think she did….I really hope not.

    • Rapunzel says:

      What do you think she did ?

      • Jess says:

        Killed herself to stick it to her husband, or blame him for her suicide. That “ask daddy” part right after “this is not your fault” is a little weird if they were getting divorced. Ugh. It’s just so heartbreaking all around. I should’ve waited until that story is confirmed to comment on it, I just hope it’s not true.

      • Rapunzel says:

        Ah…I was thinking the same. And yes, it’s horrible. But I don’t see any other way to read that letter.

      • Tanguerita says:

        I assume (and might be wrong) that it’s about the tone of the note: apparently Kate wrote to her daughter that she was not to blame and should ask her father instead. Which, if true, is a horrible thing to do to the child, in my opinion, not matter your state of mind. Bea’s father is the only parent she has left now and she will need him. Knowing that her mother made him directly responsible for her death won’t help this girl heal.

      • Nicole Savannah, GA says:

        Jess, it seems that’s exactly what she did

      • magnoliarose says:

        Jess, that is what I read too. She wanted her daughter to blame her father. I wish we didn’t know that but there isn’t a lot of room for another interpretation.

      • minx says:

        That note was a gut punch. I feel horrible for her daughter.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Another interpretation…

        I love you and you are not the reason for this, ask your father…who will confirm that my depression had nothing to do with you. He will confirm that I loved you beyond measure, despite leaving.

        Because TMZ has a loooooooooong history of manipulation, we should not take their EDITING of the note to be evidence of the entirety of the what the note contained or its overall meaning.

        They also reported that the husband was in the home, when really he was in his other home. DO NOT TRUST TMZ.

      • magnoliarose says:

        Good point Tiffany. Is TMZ the source of ALL of this information? If so I think I will wait until the dust settles and I won’t listen to the swirling rumors. What I was told is that she was in a very bad place so it could be she just wasn’t even thinking rationally about anything. Regardless I am sad that she was in so much pain she felt this was the only way out. It is heartbreaking.

      • Jan90067(aka imqrious2) says:

        A friend of mine is a good family friend. I was talking to her today, and she said that Kate and her husband were separated (it wasn’t widely known), and that a divorce was quietly going through. Cheating was involved on the husband’s part, and made Kate more despondent.

        For Tiffany below, that is the way I “read” the note, too.

    • mkyarwood says:

      Nobody kills themselves to stick it to anyone. Ever.

      • Sam the Pink says:

        Oh yes they do. Maybe not entirely, but sadly, it happens. I have colleagues who have encountered it. Narcissists are that way to the bitter end, and will try to continue blaming and manipulating from beyond the grave. I do not think that is the sole reason, but there absolutely are people who try to guilt and shame and manipulate right to the end. And it’s a horrible thing.

      • NoShame says:

        Actually, that’s not true. That happens all the time.

      • Rapunzel says:

        They do though.
        It’s also quite possible that maybe she intended to be found in time to be saved., And that it was a cry for help not intended to actually be fatal. After all, there seem to be people in the house . Maybe she was hoping to be rescued and send a message to her husband to prevent him from leaving .

        Not sure how that would work with the hanging but anything is possible .

      • Shannon says:

        I don’t know if that’s the ONLY reason someone would kill themselves, of course. But I do know it can factor in. A man here last year killed himself and left a long-ass note blaming his estranged wife, and they had three kids together. She was a sweet woman as far as I knew her, but she ended up having to move because his family kept threatening her. I’m not saying that’s what happened here, just making the point that it can happen.

      • Somegirl says:

        My aunt’s abusive boyfriend killed himself when she finally left him for the last time, and it definitely was a stick it to her move. He couldn’t control her anymore and he punished her the last way he could, because it devastated her and made her feel guilt. I don’t think/hope that’s not what happened here- and I don’t think anyone outside her family has any business reading her suicide note- but blanket statements that it never happens aren’t true.

      • Jess says:

        Sadly they do, I’ve seen it happen locally in my town. I also overheard a friend of mine telling her boyfriend she was going to kill herself because he broke up with her. She flat out told me she was driving over 100 mph looking for a tree to ram her car into, just to “get him back and make him feel as bad he made her feel”. People can do horrible things because of mental illness.

      • Aren says:

        I know a guy who did it just to try to ruin the life of his ex. The ex was still underage, he was about to become 30. He had issues, of course, but I think he was trying to damage his ex and, in a way, end his chances of living a happy life.
        Fortunately that didn’t happen. His suicide note was very clear about blaming his ex, but at the end of the day, this was a teen, so of course he was sad but eventually moved on.

      • Scotchy says:

        They do, there are other factors of course but there are cases where someone kills themselves to get at someone else. It happened to a former close friend of mine. Her ex committed suicide( he was a sociopath/narcissist) and he wrote on his wall, “this is your fault” along with spreading photo’s all around where he committed suicide.
        She had broken up with him and was moving and this was his goodbye gift.
        He was a very very sick man.

      • magnoliarose says:

        Yes they do.
        They are already mentally ill so they are suffering but I do know of one guy who actually timed it by calling his very abused ex girlfriend to come over just so she could find him in an unusual suicide. He tried to make it as damaging and violent as possible. He timed it so it would inflict maximum damage and she could wonder if she had listened to his pleas earlier if she could have saved him. Her crime was being through with him.

      • Sophia's side eye says:

        Years ago I knew a guy who committed suicide. He’d been dating a young girl who was only about eighteen at the time, he was about twenty eight. The guy was abusive and controlling. The young lady had ended their relationship, and everyone was blaming her for what he’d done.

        The one thing I, nor anyone else, ever knew was what was in the note he left. The note, that they convinced the young lady to never speak about, explained why he’d killed himself, and her.

        I know this because I met her again about fifteen years later and she told me. So, he didn’t just want to kill himself, his plan was to kill them both. His family convinced her to never tell the truth about what he was planning to save his reputation. I was so horrified for her, she’d been so young and vulnerable.

        Obviously this isn’t what happened here, and I’m not trying to say it is. I’m just saying it does happen sometimes that part of the plan is to stick it to another person. I have had suicides in my family, there are many reasons people do it. None of these decisions come from a healthy mind.

      • jwoolman says:

        People can have mixed motivations, especially if they are very angry or disappointed with someone. So she could have been overwhelmed with the pain and thought of future pain, and at the same time wanting to blame her husband because she was angry with him. But I wouldn’t assume that really happened. Her statement about asking daddy may not have had anything to do with blaming daddy, but just getting confirmation from daddy that she loved her daughter very much and that her daughter had nothing to do with her decision to die.

        I know that people with bipolar disorder are dealing with a real physical illness, but have to confess that while untreated, they can be hell to live with (based on personal experience). The disease can break a relationship very easily, because it affects behavior. I found it baffling myself as well as hurtful – it can make people very irritable and very unpredictable. This makes it very different from other diseases that keep the personality and behavior intact. Not everybody manages well with it as the spouse or other immediate family. Yet another reason to seek treatment speedily.

        Different people have different breaking points, and that goes for the people surrounding the person with bipolar disorder as much as for the person with the disease.

      • Ange says:

        Besides the other examples I think there’s definitely an element of it when parents kill their children and themselves or kill their families and themselves, usually during heated custody issues or whatnot.

    • Skylark says:

      @Jess – We don’t know if what’s reported is the full note or just some cynical and heartless reporting of part of it.

      “This has nothing to do with you, don’t feel guilty. Ask your dad.” could just as easily mean ‘ask your dad for reassurance on this, that it has absolutely nothing to do with you…’

      • Jess says:

        Yesterday I took it as “ask your dad for proof of how much I love you” sort of way, now I’m seeing it as a hint that it’s his fault.

      • jas says:

        Skylark- I assumed that is what she meant. As in, He knows how much I was suffering and can explain it all to you.

      • Pamela says:

        That is what I am hoping….that she meant “this has nothing to do with you….ask your Dad” as in, “your dad will explain that I have been suffering with deep depression for many, many years.”

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I agree 100%, Skylark.

        Especially “We don’t know if what’s reported is the full note or just some cynical and heartless reporting of part of it.”

        We do know this came from TMZ, and they are not to be trusted because they selectively edit and manipulate information.

    • Nicole says:

      I thought so too. Originally I thought the tone was “ask your dad it’s not your fault” and now it reads as one last FU to the guy. Awful.
      I feel sad because this is yet another person who needed help and couldn’t (or wouldn’t) get help due to stigma. I wish that would end and we would have more programs devoted to preventative measures. But they just cut hundreds of millions from mental health programs.

    • OG Cleo says:

      I am disgusted by this thread. The contents of the note should never have been made public and speculating anything regarding her daughter or suggesting she killed herself to “stick it” to her husband when she also has a documented history of depression crosses the line. Give your sympathies and move the hell on.

      • Carrie1 says:

        I understand your feelings but I’m finding all the comments ok. People need to talk things out and this is generally a good place to do it.

        I only read here or Lainey occasionally so missed what TMZ did. That place is terrible all of the time.

        My condolences to everyone in need of them. It’s good to share here. Better than bottling it up. I believe it helps to discuss these things.

      • LooseSeal says:

        @OG Cleo – agreed agreed agreed agreed! This is not our business. This is not ours to dissect. The fact that the note, if that’s even the real note, was made public is incomprehensibly disgusting. Some things we just need to accept as not ours to judge or even to understand. I pray for peace to her family and loved ones.

      • OG Cleo says:


        I agree that the topics of mental illness stigma, suicide generally, etc. are understandable and necessary topics following a story like this. The method of suicide, the contents of the note, and unfounded rumors about her husband are not.

      • Jess says:

        I don’t think it’s any different from other threads discussing our feelings on things that happen to people in the public eye. mental disorders should be talked about more openly, nothing to be ashamed of in my opinion.

      • LooseSeal says:

        @Jess – It’s not the discussion of mental health I’m talking about. I think there are a lot of amazing conversations around that happening on this comments section. It’s the dissection of her note that I think is what we should leave alone. We don’t know her. We don’t know her context. The note is none of our business.

      • Carrie1 says:

        @OG Cleo yes I see your points and agree. So sorry. It’s all just hard and I didn’t intend to silence you or others. I was just offering my own two cents in addition. This is a lot to process.

    • Sherry says:

      Regardless of what the note did or did not say, she was not a mentally healthy individual. Mentally healthy people do not commit suicide. People go bankrupt, get divorced, live through unimaginable tragedies and get on with their lives.

      I would be very careful about interpreting any note she may have left. It did not come from a healthy mind.

      RIP – Kate Spade

    • Susannah says:

      Perhaps she wanted her daughter to ask her father as he would know all about Kate’s history of mental illness and distress? He could explain to their daughter that it wasn’t her fault because he knew Kate so well. I’m hoping it was something more benign such as that, anyway.

    • Kayzilla says:

      Yes, I thought that was exceptionally cruel to plant the seed of resentment in a daughter toward her father, who will now be her sole guardian.

    • aenflex says:

      Unfortunately, I agree. A very tragic last barb at her husband.

    • Lorelei says:

      @Jess you’re right…even with the most charitable reading of the note (the contents of which we NEVER should have even known about), that is not something you put on a child. Especially one who is only going to have that one parent left. It’s incredibly sad all around. I can’t stop thinking about that poor 13-year-old girl.

    • stinky says:

      The kind interpretation of that minimal note(?!) w/b that she knows that daddy can explain… that mommy was a handful, mommy was genuinely sick and suffering, and that all of them tried to help along the way but couldn’t help in the end. Its really unimaginable that her intent w/b anything other than that :-( I’m sad that in our current age of ‘speaking our truths’ – as women & humans – that KS couldn’t see the amazing impact she herself could have brought to the discussion :-( She was loved & respected! She would have been LISTENED TO. Of course I can absolutely imagine not having the fortitude for all that when one is just plain ill. R.I.P

    • Anika says:

      People who kill themselves are not in a “normal” mind frame when they chose to die, as has been said up-thread. Many of them believe “the world”—people who know them–would be genuinely better of w/out them. That said, there’s a vengeful quality to the note in its laying blame for her death on her husband: I don’t know how that poor daughter will react to that.Yes, I think to blame the father of the child who you are leaving without you is wrong, but I also think the reasons that cause people to kill themselves to transcend morality. In other words, I don’t blame Kate for that note nearly as much as I would someone who was in a stable, calculating frame of mind when she wrote it. Freud said that no one who kills themselves does not also want to kill someone else, too, and while I don’t adhere to Freud’s thinking, I think many victims of suicide *are* angry at someone else, or more than one person. However, at the heart of most suicide is stifling depression, which entails a severe self hatred over hatred of anyone else. Kate may well have wished to haunt her husband emotionally forever through her death, and been using her daughter as the pawn for that haunting, but I think she wrote this on a suicidal, twisted, furious impulse, not thinking it out further–not thinking of how, once written, her words could never be erased. I doubt she was thinking clearly and calmly of these written details and repercussions on her family by the time she took her own life. I doubt it–I don’t know it. Every suicide is slightly different from the next, but most have one thing at their opaque, matted roots: a view of life as overwhelming, unsurmountable, too deeply heavy a burden to bear. The ones left behind will *always* wonder whether they could have *somehow* saved their loved one from dying–that is punishment enough– along with ceaseless loss and grief, and there is never any closure to that fate.
      My heart goes out to her family, the daughter especially, in their terrible, unpassable limbo.

    • ccc8888 says:

      The Ask Daddy was in reference to how much Kate loved her daughter and that it wasn’t her fault. Asking Daddy would mean Andy would explain to their daughter what condition Kate was in and that it wasn’t anything the girl did.

  7. Ally says:

    The contrast between the upbeat, happy image of her designs and this event is what adds to the upset, I think.

    Very sad that she, or anyone, was in so much pain and felt so isolated in crisis.

    • Lynnie says:

      That’s what makes it so shocking to me. Seeing as how she herself was private so the clothes and bags were the only things to go by on her if you were curious. Really sad if true that her designs might’ve pushed her to avoid treatment, and inadvertently killed her 😢

  8. Loopy says:

    Very sad. The daily mail is also reporting that cashing out early from her brand may have contributed.

    • Ms. Turtle says:

      She reportedly sold her company for $33 million. Then to see coach buy it from Neiman for $2.4 billion? A name that is HERS. Her identity on a company that she isn’t involved in. That would be hurtful and upsetting. Not the money part, but the innovation, the designs. She likely was a “doer” and should not have left her company and had regrets. I can only imagine.

      I’m taking this story way too personally. I have had suicidal thoughts in the last year. But never seriously because I have so much to live for. I’m on medication now that is doing wonders. But it is hard to pull one’s self back. My heart breaks for Kate that she couldn’t get there.

    • jwoolman says:

      More likely she sold the business because of her problems with depression, rather than the sale contributing to the depression . Nothing in the person’s life actually has to contribute to the depression. It just happens.

  9. Betsy says:

    For the people around her – what a tragedy. My great grandfather commit suicide almost 100 years ago when my grandmother was 13, and that death still affects the family in ways large and small.

    There is no gladness here, but I am grateful for the therapy and understanding and gentleness that will be available to her daughter is so much different from what my grandmother got. My thoughts are with her people.

    • Christin says:

      Hard to understand how a 13 year-old would ever process this. That is a tender age in itself (not that any age can properly handle news of this magnitude).

      • Carrie1 says:

        I look to kids who lost famous parents. There are some good examples there. We can survive a lot and my hope is that her daughter will be taught how to process this in a healthy way from professional sources. Lot of good family support I expect too.

  10. BengalCat2000 says:

    I read in the NY Post that her sister said she had been struggling with depression for years and every time her family tried to get her help, she backed out. My ex bf bought my first Kate Spade bag (he died three months ago). I’m bipolar, and know how hard depression is to live with. I feel so bad for her. Her designs made me happy. This one hurts.

    • Betsy says:

      Has light therapy helped at all? I ask only because I read a blurb that Ishtar therapy of 50,000 lux for an hour seems to reduce episodes of depression in people with bipolar. I don’t have bipolar, but I wonder if light therapy would work for major anxiety.

      • Isobel says:

        Anxiety and bipolar are two very different disorders than can be co- morbid. Light therapy can work for seasonal adjustment disorders. Bipolar needs professional management and cooperation from the individual not anecdotal article.

      • BengalCat2000 says:

        I see a psychiatrist every few months but no longer see a regular therapist (which I highly recommend). I have severe anxiety as well. But with a good therapist (or anyone you feel comfortable opening up to) and the right combination of meds, my anxiety has lessened. You have to take it day by day. It’s a cliché, but when I’m having a ‘Good’ day, I try to recognize it and appreciate it. Anxiety doesn’t have to define you.
        Eta, as Isobel pointed out, bipolar and anxiety disorders should be dealt with by a professional. It’s a serious illness, and sadly, can be fatal.
        I hope this answers your question. If you need to talk, I’m here for you. ❤

      • Betsy says:

        @BengalCat2000 – oh, I’ve been through the psych wringer over the years. Competent ones, brilliant ones, criminally stupid ones… good meds, bad… I’m at the point that I am ready to try some tested but more “alternative” things. But thank you.

      • BengalCat2000 says:

        I hear ya Betsy. I’ve had so many bad experiences with therapy over the years, I was ready to give up on it completely. I got lucky with the people I (finally!) found. I hope you find the peace you are looking for.

      • Lizabeth says:

        Bipolar Disorder, like Major Depression can have a seasonal component. (Depressive episodes in the fall/winter, manic or hypomanic episodes in spring/summer in the northern hemisphere.) Light therapy is presumed to reset biological systems causing depression that have been affected by the short day length. Light therapy is unlikely to have any effect on anxiety disorders. Regardless, professional help is needed.

      • Notsoanonymous says:

        @Betsy – I’ve been using light therapy for years. I’m in the Pacific Northwest and there is a massive seasonal pattern to my depression. With the advice of my doctors, I supplement my vitamins with additional D vitamins, use light therapy on dreary days, and take my medication as religiously as possible. I feel better on days when daylight is short or it’s gray if I start the morning in front of my light.

  11. Beth says:

    I’ve had loved ones commit and attempt suicide, and it’s terrible. It’s so confusing and scary when one day,out of no where, a person who seemed normal and was living a happy, successful life decides to end it and leave their loved ones and life forever. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for years,but thankfully I’ve never reached the point of suicide. I can’t imagine how her friends and family, especially her young daughter are taking this RIP Kate

  12. Abby says:

    I heard this yesterday and it made me so sad. I was literally holding my Kate Spade wallet when I heard, which was a bridesmaid’s gift from a friend and I absolutely love it. I love her products.

    How sad for her family. I didn’t realize she was so young or that her child was so young. My SIL (the one who told me the news) works in fashion and she was like “oh, she and her husband were having major problems.” I’d never heard that before, and I don’t know if that’s true or not, but perhaps that was the case. Regardless, suicide is just awful. :-(

  13. Spicecake38 says:

    Prayers for her sweet young daughter.My dear friend came home one day at the same age,and found her mother-she had intentionally overdosed attempting suicide,but was able to be saved.My friend is still traumatized by such an experience,and her mother went on to live a full life.It is so sad to think of anyone feeling like ending their life is the only solution to end their pain.My heart goes out to all of Kate’s friends and family.

    • Wren says:

      Yes. My own experience was not as extreme as your friend’s (suicide was threatened while in an unbalanced state of mind rather than actually attempted) but I’m still dealing with my experience. It was traumatizing. The person is in a much better place now and living life again but honestly it took a huge toll on me. The mental health resources where I live are nearly non-existent so I played a huge part in their recovery. It was hard, and sometimes it still is.

      • Spicecake38 says:

        I’m sorry for what you’ve had to endure to be threatened by the suicide of someone you love would be awful,and lack of resources compounds this problem.Truthfully I don’t think there are enough resources in most places,and the stigma of mental disease is still so strong and causes the person who is ill/their family members to feel guilty or ashamed . I hope you and the person you are referring to have easier,happier times ahead.

      • Wren says:

        Thank you.

        You’re probably right that there aren’t enough resources anywhere but in the mostly rural place I live it’s exceptionally pitiful. Aside from court-ordered addiction counseling for DUI’s and things like that, there’s nothing. A do-it-yourself project I never imagined would be facing me. I don’t think I’ve felt as unqualified for anything in my life.

  14. Margo S. says:

    She had a 13 years old daughter. I mean, Kate was so ill. You can only just feel sorrow for this family. Even if Kate was going through a divorce, if that sets you off the edge?! She was sick and needed help. I’m really hurt by all this. I’ve been in a dark place before but I got out of it. I’m just so sad for her daughter.

  15. BJ says:

    People Magazine claim her husband was looking for a new apt and they were having marital issues.I hope people don’t blame him.Relationships, marriage end all the time even ones lasting 25 years and most people don’t kill themselves.She was dealing with more than just a broken marriage.Prayers to her family.

    • Carrie1 says:

      These tabloids have no sense of decency. I’m surprised at the reporting by People and TMZ. It’s terrible. Not helpful for anyone close to her especially. It could add more trauma for them.

  16. Chef Grace says:

    I was shocked by her death. You never know what is in a person’s mind. I have anxiety and depression. And I have had suicidal thoughts but I get over them . To me it is so personal and hard to talk about. But it is important to have a support system. So many do not.

  17. justcrimmles says:

    Ignoring TMZ is always a good choice. Depression does not discriminate.
    Truly awful situation 😔

  18. Lisa Giametti says:

    There is no mystery as to why she committed suicide. Her sister, Reta, said yesterday, that she had suffered from depression for years, and all attempts to get her help failed, as she did not want her brand tarnished by the stigma of mental illness. Her sister and husband had both urged her to recently seek treatment, and had settled on a facility, where even her sister would go with her, and stay nearby while Spade received treatment. At the last minute, Spade decided she didn’t want to go. The sister said they could do no more but try and support her decision and hoped she would change her mind. Spade was very mindful of keeping her image as the whimsical, happy go lucky designer.

    Very sad, especially for a daughter who now faces the reality she will not have her mother around any longer.

    • rabbitgirl says:

      I had clinical depression during pregnancy (which I never knew was a thing, but it is, like post-partum, but only during). My sister and husband kept insisting I get treated and had also convinced me to go to a facility. I backed out at the last minute (like Spade). So the two of them (bless them) contrived to never leave me alone. They took shifts and my mother and father also took shifts. I was not even allowed to go to the bathroom by myself (bless them). One day it got to the point where I had started openly fearing I would kill myself. And that was the end of it, one of them (don’t know which one) called an ambulance and I was taken to a hospital where I was interviewed by a shrink. I was signed in for 72 hours on a hold. I will forever be grateful to my family for taking this seriously and making every effort to ensure my safety and the safety of my baby. I don’t blame her family at all. They did their best. I am just reminded of how close I came and how lucky I was that my support system was that strong.

      On a side note, we need to better educate people on peripartum depression. I never knew it was a thing. I knew of postpartum. But I had never heard of peripartum depression until I had it.

      • Sophia's side eye says:

        Sounds like you have a very loving family, rabbitgirl. I’m glad you made it through. I’ve also never heard of peripartum depression.

        There are so many things about mental illness that we never talk about, and really never know about unless it happens to us or someone we’re close to.

    • Hashtagwhat says:


      The family has now released a statement saying that the entire family has been estranged from this sister for at least ten years, and that they are “disgusted” by what she said publicly and that her comments clearly reflect someone who hasn’t known Kate at all.

      So, no, her sister did not see this coming because she did not see Kate at all. And it’s repulsive that she went so quickly to the daily mail and the Kansas City Star to make this about her.

      • Carrie1 says:

        I wondered about the sister as her comments seemed so intrusive and betrayal of Kate. Then I chalked it up to family pain. What a mess.

      • magnoliarose says:

        Thank you for clearing that up. Geez, that is a low thing to do.

  19. Indiana Joanna says:

    So tragic. Have personal experience with depression and suicide. My heart aches for her and everyone else who can’t see their way out of it.

  20. HK9 says:

    I loved Kate’s sense of style and whimsy. My deepest condolences go out to her family. I’m also really angry that the suicide note was released to the public. Maybe the family wanted that but I thought it was wrong, and I’m pissed that no one had the decency to say ‘No we aren’t going to do that. No one but her family should have known what was in that note. No one.

    • Shannon says:

      I honestly couldn’t believe the suicide note was released. Shame on TMZ for purchasing that information and publicizing it. That’s just so deeply personal. I only went to tmz because I’d heard about her death and kind of thought ‘fake news’ and omg, this poor family and Kate, simply zero respect around her passing. I mean, they even mentioned the color of the scarf – like it matters??!!??

      • Kitty says:

        Completely disgusting the way tmz and other tabloids are behaving, it’s unbelievable. Her husband just released a lengthy statement and says that he hasn’t even seen the suicide note yet. They need to find who sold that info to tmz

  21. Lucy says:

    Poor woman, and her poor daughter. Death is always sad, but death by suicide…I can’t begin to imagine what must go through a person’s mind to get to that. May her soul rest in peace.

  22. Brooke says:

    This story broke my heart but there’s a lesson to take away from this. You never truly know what someone is going through or the battles they face. I know this is folksy but maybe we could try to be just a little nicer today. I know I’ve personally had a lot of awful days that were turned around by a simple smile or kind comment!

    Also, I might be naive but I took the “ask daddy” comment as her telling her daughter to ask her father how much her mother loved her.

    • Christin says:

      Brooke, I am a big believer in the power of a kind word and smile. I try to engage everyone I encounter at work, shopping, etc.

      Life is hard for many, and not all battles are evident.

      • Carrie1 says:

        Yes. And keep away from people who are not kind, especially during times like this. That includes tabloids I think.

  23. Justwastingtime says:

    Sometimes there isn’t a lot of signals to the outside world I am still haunted by the fact that some one at work chatted with me about her hiking plans with her kids two days before she hung herself. I didn’t even know she struggled with depression, so I didn’t believe it at first. I found out later her medication was adjusted the day before her death.

    • LV487 says:

      Almost every anti-depressant medication has the same warning, can cause suicidal tendencies. Sometimes I think the side effects of the medications are worse than the illness they’re prescribed to treat.

      • Esmom says:

        I would disagree. I think psychiatric meds are a miracle of modern medicine, allowing many people to live full, functional lives who otherwise would not. My son absolutely would not be alive without them. All medications have risks and side effects.

      • LV487 says:

        I think psychiatric meds are a miracle of modern medicine, allowing many people to live full, functional lives who otherwise would not.

        Suicides have jumped 24% since 1999 despite the fact that 1 in 8 Americans are using anti-depressants. There is a reason why the FDA labeled all SSRI’s with a black box warning. That’s the strictest warning given. It means you are dealing with a drug that has potentially lethal side effects. But hey, Thalidomide did help pregnant women with nausea.

  24. Renee2 says:

    Didn’t her husband’s father commit suicide as well? I feel for him and his brother and, of course, the daughter.

    • Boxy Lady says:

      Their stepfather. I thought about that yesterday. David would refer to her as Katie in interviews so I figured that he really liked her. It must be crushing for the Spade brothers to have to experience this again.

      • Olive says:

        yeah, Andy and David’s stepfather (i think they have another brother too) committed suicide when David was 15, and their bio father was a deadbeat and a loser too – David had an animated show about his father called “Sammy” 20 years ago that I think was cancelled after an episode or two.

        her nickname was spelled Katy, btw, not Katie.

  25. AG-UK says:

    I think there are many factors to her story depression, relationship problems worrying about what people think/thought. Very sad all around.

  26. Annie says:

    I’m going to try to keep this short. I had post partum depression after my daughter was born. At the time, I told my husband, “I don’t want to kill myself, but I’m afraid I will.” The suicidal thoughts come, unwanted and unbidden, and you are powerless to stop them.

    It infuriates me when people cast blame or call suicide victims “cowards.” Until you’ve been there, you have no idea what it’s like.

    • Cee says:

      There’s nothing cowardly about ending your own life. It goes against every basic instinct we have as humans, it goes against survival, that’s why suicide happens under very specific circumstances.

    • rabbitgirl says:


      I had peripartum depression. It was horrible and it was so isolating because I had no idea (and neither did any one around me) that this was a thing. I knew about postpartum, but no one ever mentioned this.

      And OMG, I know exactly what you are saying. I did not want to die or kill myself. But thoughts were were so invasive and constant. I kept saying that it feels like something outside of me is trying to will me into death because these are not my thoughts. It was horrible. Hugs to you sista. We survived it!!!!

    • Carrie1 says:

      This. Sending good thoughts to you. Thank you saying this.

    • Margo S. says:

      I feel you annie! I have young children and between the zero sleep, kids crying, no time for myself, I went to a very very very dark place. I’ve been depressed before but this was bad. I realized once I could ask for help with things like babysitting, cooking and cleaning and allow myself to rest, I was able to get through the “crisis” period. I’m not saying it’s gone. This will be a journey for me. I just want people to know they aren’t alone. This should be something we can talk about openly.

  27. adastraperaspera says:

    Sincerest condolences to Kate’s loved ones. I have struggled with depression, as have many in my family. It sometimes can feel impossible to seek help. It can be paralyzing. My rule when things are difficult is to always push through just one more day. I’ve also had a lot of therapy, which has helped immensely. I feel so sad for Kate.

  28. Christin says:

    I am wearing my only KS item, which is a lovely pair of earrings. Didn’t even know what she looked like, or that her bro-in-law is the comedian David.

    One of my favorite former co-workers ended his life nearly two years ago, at 49. He had two high school age children. His passing was such a wake-up call, because he was such a fun, friendly guy. We knew he had a hard time dealing with “real life” (deaths, sickness, etc), but never realized he was covering up bipolar and depression challenges. He also predicted he’d die young, telling one person he knew he’d never live past 50.

  29. Mariposa97 says:

    When people click on articles that promise details not found anywhere else, that tells those magazines or sleaze such as tmz that there is interest in things that should never be made public.
    It has happened too often recently 😔
    I feel for both, husband and daughter because no one should have to be made to feel responsible for someone’s death because trash mags are releasing personal information such as the note. Even after death a person should have a right to privacy.
    She obviously had things she was battling and it’s so sad that mental illness still has such a stigma associated with it that celebrities feel they shouldn’t disclose it to avoid losing fans/endorsements, whatever.
    I pray for her and her loved ones left behind.

    • Veronica S. says:

      Yeah, I’m kind of like…really?? The suicide note? I’m not interested in reading it. That was for her family at the moment when she was at her absolute lowest. They deserve to have that privacy.

  30. OG Cleo says:

    My hearts goes out to her family during what must be a confusing and devastating time.

  31. VeronicaLodge says:

    Kate’s passing really affected me. My first Kate Spade was a gift from my parents before I left for college. It’s still cherished. I just realized my glasses, wallet and my regular tote bag are Kate Spade. I have owned about ten of her bags and they always make me feel a little more polished and pulled together. You never know what’s going on with someone. I wish her family peace.

    • MsTurtle says:

      I think that’s part of why it’s affecting me and my friends so much. We identified with her brand so much. I just realized how many Kate Spade New York items I own. Three pairs of prescription glasses (I always bought her readers at Nordstrom and had my doctor put prescription lenses in. Way cheaper and more compliments on those glasses than any other), bags, necklaces, scarves, wallets, earrings, sunglasses. I identified with her brand and therefore by extension, her. You never really know what is going on behind closed doors. She was a celebrity we didn’t know but she radiated joy. RIP Kate.

  32. Veronica S. says:

    It distresses me more as a reminder of how oppressive mental illness can be. This woman had everything to most people’s reading – immense wealth, a good life, a husband and daughter, and it STILL wasn’t enough to get her the help she needed to survive. How heartbreaking. I hope her husband and daughter are getting the care they need during this time.

  33. Lara says:

    She was bipolar, was having marital problems and had studied Robin Williams’ death. It’s shocking to us, not to her sister.
    No coincidence with L’Wren Scott. It was a calculated decision. It’s a relatively quick and painless way. It’s not uncommon,

  34. Amelie says:

    This is just so tragic. Kate Spade’s bags have been part of the fabric of American fashion my whole life (I was born only a few years before she launched her line). I don’t own a Kate Spade bag but I own a Kate Spade dress my mom bought me as a gift a few years back at an outlets Kate Spade store. The dress was from a collection they collaborated on with Garance Doré, a French photographer/fashion blogger (who is the ex-girlfriend of The Sartorialist for those of you who remember him!) who designed the print of the dress. I wear that dress for special occasions and always get compliments on it.

    I feel so terrible for her daughter and husband. If she really was struggling with clinical depression, I can relate in a way. I have struggled from (what seemed to me) severe depression (though not clinical) and I can’t describe just how difficult life is when you are depressed. Everything is so draining and the fear is paralyzing. I can’t imagine what Kate was thinking, leaving behind her daughter like that but I also have never been suicidal. It’s just so awful.

    Also I didn’t realize she was the sister-in-law of David Spade or the aunt of Rachel Brosnahan, the main actress in Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. My heart goes out to them too.

  35. rabbitgirl says:

    This is so tragic as is with every suicide. But more so, when a child is left behind. We have to get better at spotting and treating mental illness. I can’t imagine what her husband – who was at home at the time – must be feeling. Can you imagine being home when this happens and wondering if you could have stopped it somehow? This is horrible. Sending healing vibes to the family.

    I know we all want answers but I don’t think they are our answers to get, which makes this so much more frustrating and upsetting.

  36. Cee says:

    I don’t want to assume Kate Spade suffered from depression, clinical or not, nor for how long she endured the illness. But some have pointed out she feared getting treatment in case word got out she had a mental illness.

    There are no words to accurately describe depression. I suffered, mildly, for 5 years before realising my perpetual state of sadness and worthlessness was not normal. I sought treatment, with a bit of shame mixed in, and got better. I am now so much better.
    My take from this is that we need to fight the stigma associated with depression and mental illness. So many people refrain from seeking treatment because of this.

    If you’re reading this and suspect you might be depressed, know this: there are many of us out there just like you and there is nothing wrong with you. Seek help, it will be the greatest thing you’ll ever do for yourself.

  37. SJhere says:

    Putting the note online and the pics of the body online is truly crossing the line.

    • Olive says:

      what pics of the body? Are there actual photos of her body inside of her apartment, or are you just referring to the photos of the body being wheeled out on a stretcher?

      • SJhere says:

        I was referring to the pics of the body on a gurney being wheeled out. Imagine her child seeing that pic, no reason for it. Causes more pain. And releasing the note to the press is right out of bounds. Shame on those who mishandled this so cruelly. It’s called decency and respecting a family loss. Very much crossing the line, IMO.

  38. Celebs says:

    I suffer from a debilitating anxiety disorder and feel for anyone suffering with mental illness and/or suicidal thoughts. I feel for Kate Spade’s daughter and family.

    • NicoleinSavannah,GA says:

      I have them daily and it is debilitating to say the least. Only thing that keeps me going is my sense of humor. I truly believe that my endometriosis has largely contributed in the passed years to my declining mental stability.
      Best friend is in jail with her mental illness. I just pray that people are going to do something, anything to help us. I couldn’t get anyone to take my friend for more than 3 weeks, she finally ended up in jail. Safest place for her right now. Because before anyone will send her anywhere long term, she basically has to murder someone. A psychiatrist has to admit her and they won’t do it.
      Schizophrenia, mania, it’s all a horrible and gut wrenching disease that is constantly pushed aside.

  39. tracking says:

    Her poor young daughter, there are no words for what she must be going through.

  40. Jordan says:

    Every time I get so low, suicide stays on the brain for two days. My seven year old little girl is what continues to keep me here. I can’t even imagine the pain Kate was in for her to do it.

    • Shannon says:

      Girl, I am right there with you. I’ve realized the logistics of my own suicide would take forever to plan (can’t let my son find me, can’t let my parents find me) but those feelings take over. And they pass (someone above mentioned a 90-day period). But eventually my son will grow up, my parents will no longer be around. It’s scary. My heart goes out to everyone afflicted with this.

  41. SG says:

    I’m not sure if anyone has already posted this, but the preferred terminology nowadays is “died by suicide” rather than “committed suicide.” Committ is stigmatizing language that implies it’s a sin or crime to be suicidal.

    I’m not trying to be annoyingly didactic, it’s just something important to me.

  42. Cate says:

    As someone who has had clinical depression for 35 years and attempted suicide twice, it’s not about the love and support you have. You just want your pain and suffering to stop. When you are in the bottom of that well the end seems really really peaceful. Fear usually prevents you from going further or exhaustion. I’m just speaking from my truth.

    • mint says:

      I have been there. I survived my attemp but often still toy with the idea. Living in my reality is not a life worth living

      • MsTurtle says:

        Mint, I’m so sorry for your troubles. Are you in therapy?

        I know this might sound trite, and I certainly don’t mean for it to as I know depression is terrible. But do you participate in any community service? I’ve recently been volunteering my time for elderly people and it has been helping me. Sometimes giving to others is the only thing that can make me feel slightly better. Taking the focus out of my own head.

        I wish you all the best.

  43. Fed Up says:

    This is so sad. That poor child she leaves behind is breaking my heart. RIP Kate Spade.

    • Olive says:

      i wish her note hadn’t leaked. How awful for the child and her husband – obviously Kate was ill, but that note was probably like throwing a bomb into the relationship between the child and now her only surviving parent. telling her “Ask Daddy!”? That child will wonder what her mom meant for the rest of her life. We really, really didn’t need to know about that.

      • JRenee says:

        Whomever leaked the contents of the note is an insensitive individual. Seems like more leaks hourly. Apparently the husband had moved out and wanted to divorce.
        To be 13 and dealing with so many adult situations in the public eye is heart breaking.

        My head, who called the press before the body was removed? Glad I didn’t see those photos.
        All extremely sad and reminding me of Robin Williams death.

  44. Valerie says:

    So terrible. :( May she RIP.

  45. mint says:

    She did not commit suicide. She died by suicide. Please know the right wording and difference.

    • SG says:

      The headline really makes me cringe. It’s so frustrating that people still talk like that.

    • LadyT says:

      I understand what you are saying and will learn to use the better phrase. Please know that *commit suicide* is also just a very, very familiar, common term. I’ve said it with NO intentional judgement whatsoever. I absolutely do not mean to imply crime or sin nor do I think most people do.

  46. NG_20 says:

    This is so sad and I feel horrible for her daughter. My mother was that age when her mother committed suicide and the loss and pain never goes away.

    This news hits hard for me because I just found a note that my 15 year old wrote about having had suicidal thoughts and seriously thinking of it 6 times. I’m heartbroken and I don’t know what to do. He was having a meltdown Monday night and admitted that he’s had these feelings, that he doesn’t feel right in his head. I knew he was depressed and we are in the process of getting him help but I didn’t know it was this bad. I don’t know what to do. I have an appointment for him with our doctor next Tuesday and will be bringing this up with her.

    • Regina Falangie says:


      Love him, completely and without judgement. Listen to him and keep the conversation going. Don’t give up. Love is powerful. I’m praying for you and everyone who struggles. Xoxo

    • Esmom says:

      NG_20, Hugs. Thank goodness he told you what he was feeling. My son experienced a black depression at age 14 and continues to struggle with anxiety at 18 but with treatment is he happy and healthy and heading to college in August. Wishing you and him strength and peace. It will get better.

  47. Claire says:

    SG, I agree. I’ve also heard suicide described as “death from depression.” I think this is accurate and acknowledges the long, painful struggles of this disease

  48. Jaded says:

    Thank you all for sharing your own stories of depression. I too struggled with a serious depression many years ago. For a variety of reasons my self-worth simply dried up, I felt I didn’t have a personality anymore, I felt utterly empty and worthless, a total failure at life. Even though I had good friends around me I couldn’t respond to their concern. It’s hard to describe but I liken it to being an empty shell – normal on the outside but with nothing inside to sustain me. It was horrible, one of the worst dark places I’ve ever been in my life. The only thing that held me back from suicide was the knowledge that my family would suffer and blame themselves, at least in part, for my problems. So I soldiered through it one day at a time and after about a year, I remember this clearly, I felt “happy” one day for an hour or so, then the walls closed in again. But those happy moments continued to increase and I “filled up” again with self-esteem, confidence and the realization I wasn’t a useless waste of space. If she was going through what I went through, only it never went away, I pity her because nothing since then has felt as awful and paralyzing than those dark days.

    My love is with her family, especially her daughter. RIP Kate.

    • Pamela says:

      Thank you for sharing Jaded. You just so perfectly put into words something I have been struggling with and may have just given me the ability to tell my husband what I have, up until now, been going through, quietly, alone. I hope you continue to be “full” and have many happy days to come.

  49. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    This news stunned me yesterday, and I absolutely feel wretched after any suicide news. I used to be so angry at people who’d mention thoughts of suicide. Words like selfish and attention dominated, and I always remembered being personally depressed at which point my dad would suggest I take his gun out back and get it over with or suck it up, deal with my problems head-on, rise to the occasion and carry on. And then I lost mom to cancer, and three months later my dad drowned in his pool. Death was no longer something abstract.

    Three years ago, my best friend drove herself to a desolate location and overdosed. I knew she had problems, and I thought we were working through them. I took her out all the time, we laughed, cried, ate, drank, watched movies, shopped…even gambled. I don’t enjoy gambling at all, but she had fun, and that’s what was important to me. And yet, I still failed her. Losing her has haunted me, and I can only image what KS’s daughter is going through at the very young age of 13. So so so sad. Depression is scary, and at it’s worst it’s almost tangible.

    • Person3514 says:

      You didn’t fail your friend. You were there for her and did everything you could for her. I’m positive you have no idea just how much you and your actions meant to her. Your friend simply had an illness that you couldn’t cure. You couldn’t have cured her if she had cancer, but you could have helped to make her life more bearable and pleasant before the end and you did exactly that. I know the loss hurts and always will, but please don’t ever feel guilty or like you failed her. You didn’t. ~hugs~

    • magnoliarose says:

      Sit next me and we can feel those feelings together Mabs. I am not handling this news very well either and I have been thrown back to a time when I lost someone I adored and admired to suicide. It was another person in fashion and this person was just so freaking brilliant and creative but once said the world hurts for them to be in. I tried to be as loving and open as possible. I tried to be there. I tried to make them stop using. I knew the world would never look or feel the same without them and it doesn’t. They left a gaping hole.
      I was so angry at those who enabled and I blamed people unfairly. I blamed myself. When L’Wren did it I was angry and now Kate and I am angry. The fashion world is not a place for vulnerable people. Period. It isn’t the fault of the fashion world but it can exacerbate someone’s issues.
      I used to fantasize that someone would invent a way to go back in time so I could say the right words or do just the right thing to make them not do it. But it was making me crazy so I had to stop torturing myself. I miss this person every single day. I wonder what they would think about things. I miss their sometimes vulgar sense of humor and how they loved to shock me until I was speechless. I miss their crazy fearless talent and I imagine what they would think about this world today. I miss how we would be bitchy gossipers and never tell anyone else certain things. I would give a lot to have more time with this person. Just to hear their voice or laugh or even tears. Just a glimpse of them again. Something.
      As complicated as Kate may have been I wish she could have found some hope.

      I don’t know if the feelings of failure ever leave. Maybe they do. They haven’t for me.

  50. RspbryChelly says:

    I’ll stick to committed suicide. People can use whatever terminology fits best for them but for me, having 3 loved ones take their own life was/is a crime. It’s a hard thing to forgive which clearly I haven’t, and I’m just feeling most for her family & daughter. Geezus. I can’t.

    • minx says:

      So sorry. Take care.

    • Lara says:

      I still say “commit”, but I use it without judgement. One definition of commit is to do something deliberately. Suicide is a deliberate act. Taking your own life may be a technical crime, but, it’s hardly a moral crime. It’s a person in terrible pain trying to end that pain. If you think the person who committed suicide is selfish because of how it affects you, I think you’re awfully hypocritical. You can’t forgive them? A depressed mind, a bipolar mind doesn’t think or operate like a “normal” one.
      It’s possible to feel for the family AND the person who was tortured by internal demons. How can you judge mental illness?

    • magnoliarose says:

      You have a right to your feelings.
      I lost someone important to me early in my career which was in fashion and I am sometimes still very angry with this person. But my anger is a result of being deeply hurt and sad.

  51. Bliss 51 says:

    To be suicidal is to have all encompassing pain. There is no way out of the pain. Or so it seems. It lies to you and twists and distorts or to use that cornball phrase “stinky thinkin’.” I’m not sure but maybe on this site in the comments’ section I read it was the ultimate terminal disease. That is, to be suicidal.

  52. M.A.F. says:

    I never owned one of her bags even though she was on my “when-I-get-my-first-grown-up paycheck” kind of list. I do, however, own a set of wine glasses my friend gave me as a birthday present once. Just so shocking and incredibly sad.

  53. Rori says:

    I didn’t realize she had such a young daughter. That’s just gut-wrenching. It would be tragic regardless, but I hate it when young children are involved in such tragic loss of life. 13 is such a precarious age :/

  54. Nibbi says:

    There are a lot of really awful things about this story but the thing that gets me most is her fear of stigma and the “potential harm” to her “image” and “brand,” were she to seek treatment.

    *Screw* one’s “happy-go-lucky” image. Especially screw the venal concerns about one’s “brand.” That stuff is not only frankly kinda gross, I don’t actually feel it’s that realistic, nowadays. People would probably be surprised but sympathetic if she had sought treatment or even (/especially…) publicly disclosed the matter. Celebrities are more and more open about it all the time and I think it’s a good thing. Damn the stigma. We need to keep openly talking about this stuff and try to lessen the pressure people feel not to seek treatment. It’s okay to get sick. We’re only humans. There are medicines and professionals that can help.

  55. Snappyfish says:

    I went to pay for something yesterday. The young girl behind the counter burst into tears. I asked her if she was ok. She pointed to my wallet and said “she’a Dead, she bing herself”

    That’s how I found out. So sad for her life, her daughter and her family. May she find the peace she couldn’t find here

  56. artistsnow says:

    A study on suicide was done at the Golden Gate Bridge. Some of the multitude of jumpers actually survived the fall. The researchers discovered that those who died were NOT the most depressed. But the ones with the best plan. :-{

  57. Cara says:

    I’m rocking a Kate Spade purse currently too. I have been taken off guard by how her death has affected me, as well. I’m so very sad for her, that she found herself in such a hopeless moment. My heart also breaks for her family…..that poor little girl.

  58. paddingtonjr says:

    My heart goes out to her friends and family. Sadly, demons can overtake vulnerable people at any time and it’s left to those left behind to try to make sense of the incomprehensible. I have been a fan of her work for a long time and have enjoyed many fundraising “shopping nights” at her stores. I hope she knew how much joy her colorful, classic designs brought to people. I was first “introduced” to her back in 2001 when she was honored with a VH1/Vogue Fashion Award; Dave Spade’s pride when he presented Kate with the award was quite evident and made an impression as I always thought of him as being sarcastic and snarky. The pictures he posted on Tuesday were very sweet and showed he really liked his SIL.

    Slightly OT, I would like to say that one thing I have liked about CB is that posters seem very willing to share their experiences and offer support to others when discussing a serious topic. Yes, we come here for the snarky and funny gossip and to debate whether TQ likes Meghan or Kate better, but people also share parts of their lives and offer advice which makes CB seem like more of a community.

  59. Citresse says:

    Extremely sad.
    I’m thinking of her survivors, especially her daughter.