The sister of Kate Spade says that the famed fashion designer suffered from mental illness.
Spate reportedly killed herself in her New York City apartment on Tuesday.
Reta Brosnahan Saffo, her sister, said that she dealt with mental illness for years and frequently drank alcohol. She told BuzzFeed that Spade, 55, was bipolar.
“The signs were all there and I tried to help her for so long,” Saffo said Spade seemed concerned about how the revelation of her mental illness would affect her image as “so fun, happy, and darling.”
Saffo said that her suicide was “not unexpected by me,” People magazine reported.
Family members tried to help Spade but to no avail, she claimed. “Sometimes you simply cannot SAVE people from themselves!” she wrote on social media, according to the Kansas City Star.
She added that her sister was concerned about harming the “happy-go-lucky” Kate Spade brand by seeking medical help, according to her post.
A source close to the family told People magazine that the family was disgusted by Saffo’s comments, saying that she was estranged from her sister.
“The family is disgusted and saddened that at this time of great sorrow, Kate’s sister who has been estranged from the entire family for more than 10 years would choose to surface with unsubstantiated comments,” a source said to the magazine. “Her statements paint a picture of someone who didn’t know her at all.”
They added that Spade, 55, was a “kind, generous, funny, warm and extremely private person.”
The New York Post’s Page Six reported that Spade left behind a letter to her 13-year-old daughter.
“This has nothing to do with you,” her note reads in part, according to sources, as reported by the Post. “Don’t feel guilty. Ask your dad.”
Spade’s husband, Andrew, was at home when the suicide was discovered. Her daughter, Frances, was at school.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea confirmed that a note was left, but he didn’t elaborate on the details.
“At this point, there was a note left. The contents of that note, as well as the physical state of the apartment and the comments of the witness, lend to the credibility that it is an apparent suicide,” he told the Post.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
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