Sheryl Underwood Gets Emotional Over Kate Spade as She Recalls Husband's Suicide
Underwood's husband Michael took his own life in 1990, three years into the couple's marriage
Underwood, 54, got emotional while discussing Spade’s death on Wednesday’s episode of The Talk, recalling that her late husband also took his own life.
“I’m kind of emotional about this, because as you know my husband killed himself,” she said. “You will never know. For people who think they know, you will never know. You’ll never know if it’s clinical depression. You’ll never know if it’s financial stress. You’ll never know.”
Underwood fought back tears while opening up about how the loss still affects her today.
“That pain does not — it doesn’t go away,” she said. “So I really hope that the family can come together.”
“For people that need help, they need to get the help that they need,” she urged. “And for those left behind, you get help also.”
After falling in love and marrying Michael, a chef, in 1987, Underwood and her husband struggled as he battled crippling depression. After an attempted overdose, he took his own life in August 1990 by jumping off of a building, three years into the couple’s marriage.
“I’ll never forget it, she told PEOPLE in 2016. “I made him a German chocolate cake that morning, and I said, ‘Drop the bills in the mailbox and I’ll see you when you get home.’ It’s the most painful thing in the world because he is not coming back.”
Despite everything she’s been through, Underwood said she was happy with where she wound up.
“Everything I went through made me stronger,” she said. “You may never forget it, but in remembering it you should make it better for the next person. I wouldn’t change anything in my life, because I have learned so much about myself.
PEOPLE confirmed that Spade was found dead by suicide in her New York City apartment on Tuesday. She was 55.
Spade’s husband, Andy, spoke out about the loss of his wife on Wednesday.
“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, 55, said in a statement to PEOPLE.
The couple share 13-year-old daughter Frances Beatrix.
RELATED VIDEO: Kate Spade, 55, Found Dead in N.Y.C. Apartment from Apparent Suicide
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,” he 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.”
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.”
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).