Kate Spade’s brother slams ‘false, speculative information’ about designer’s suicide

The brother of Kate Spade has spoken out against unsubstantiated claims connected to his sister’s shocking suicide.

The beloved designer was found dead by hanging at her Park Avenue apartment on Tuesday morning. She was 55. A medical examiner has ruled that Spade’s death was a result of suicide.

In the days since her death, numerous reports, some using unnamed ‘industry’ sources, have speculated about Spade’s mental health and purported alcohol use. Some of the designer’s family members have spoken out, including her father and her older sister, who gave a lengthy statement to the Kansas City Star claiming Spade’s suicide wasn’t unexpected — after declining a phone interview because she said she had taken a sedative.

In a statement to People magazine, Kate’s brother Earl Brosnahan reinforced the family’s need for privacy and criticized those spreading rumors about his sister’s death.

“We are grateful for the incredible outpouring of love and support the family has received over the last few days,” he said. “We should all remember the beauty and joy that Kate brought to this world.”

“But it is sad and very hurtful, given the pain the family is enduring, that people with no real knowledge of the situation are leaking false, speculative information that maligns Kate’s character and belittles the health issues she bravely fought. We once again ask that the family’s privacy be respected during this challenging time.”

Other family members have appeared to confirm that Spade had struggled with some mental health concerns , but her husband Andy Spade said in a statement to the New York Times on Wednesday that his wife had been seeking treatment, and said that her suicide came as a complete shock.

“Kate suffered from depression and anxiety for many years. She was actively seeking help and working closely with her doctors to treat her disease, one that takes far too many lives. We were in touch with her the night before and she sounded happy,” Andy Spade’s statement said, in part. “There was no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock. And it clearly wasn’t her.”

Andy Spade confirmed that he and his wife had been living apart for several months, but said they had been in regular contact indicated that the separation was intended to be temporary — discounting reports that the the couple had been planning to divorce. 

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

[Feature image: Kate Spade/Associated Press; Bebeto Matthews, File]