“Kate was the most beautiful woman in the world. She was the kindest person I’ve ever known and my best friend for 35 years. My daughter and I are devastated by her loss, and can’t even begin to fathom life without her. We are deeply heartbroken and miss her already,” Andy Spade, 55, said in a statement to PEOPLE on Wednesday.
Kate and Andy share 13-year-old daughter Frances Beatrix.
Andy, the brother of actor and comedian David Spade, also addressed reports of his late wife’s mental illness.
“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 said. “There was no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock. And it clearly wasn’t her. There were personal demons she was battling.”
Andy also spoke about the couple’s marital troubles, revealing that he and Kate were focused on their daughter.
“For the past 10 months we had been living separately, but within a few blocks of each other. Bea was living with both of us and we saw each other or spoke every day. We ate many meals together as a family and continued to vacation together as a family. Our daughter was our priority,” he said.
“We were not legally separated, and never even discussed divorce. We were best friends trying to work through our problems in the best way we knew how. We were together for 35 years. We loved each other very much and simply needed a break,” Andy continued.
PEOPLE confirmed that Kate was found dead Tuesday of an apparent suicide in her New York City apartment.
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Andy concluded his statement by shutting down rumors surrounding Kate’s death and the finances of their new accessories brand, Frances Valentine.
“This is the truth. Anything else that is out there right now is false. She was actively seeking help for depression and anxiety over the last 5 years, seeing a doctor on a regular basis and taking medication for both depression and anxiety. There was no substance or alcohol abuse. There were no business problems,” Andy said.
He added, “We loved creating our businesses together. We were co-parenting our beautiful daughter. I have yet to see any note left behind and am appalled that a private message to my daughter has been so heartlessly shared with the media. My main concern is Bea and protecting her privacy as she deals with the unimaginable grief of losing her mother. Kate loved Bea so very much.”
Kate, née Katherine Noel Brosnahan, founded her namesake label with her Andy in 1993. Thanks largely to her colorful handbags, the company rose through the years to billion-dollar prominence even as she sold her ownership stake in 2006. In 2016, she returned from a decade-long fashion hiatus to launch Frances Valentine, named after her daughter.
The Spade family previously released a statement to the New York Daily News that read: “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.”