Kate Spade’s sister claims she tried to help the designer seek treatment for depression ‘3-4 times’ in the past, but she refused to tarnish her image. But, are there holes in Kate’s sister’s story? — Here’s the latest …
UPDATE: Kate Spade’s husband Andy Spade has confirmed that his wife was battling depression before she died, but denies that she wasn’t receiving treatment. In a statement released to Variety on June 6, he said, “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.” He added, “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.
ORIGINAL: Kate Spade, 55, suffered from years of depression before allegedly taking her own life on June 5, according to her sister, Reta Brosnahan Saffo, 57, who says she’s the one who tried to help the designer seek treatment. “I will say this was not unexpected by me,” Saffo told The Kansas City Star via email interview. “I’d flown out to Napa and NYC several times in the past 3-4 years to help her to get the treatment she needed (inpatient hospitalization). She was always a very excitable little girl and I felt all the stress/pressure of her brand (KS) may have flipped the switch where she eventually became full-on manic depressive.”
Saffo, who admitted to taking a sedative before speaking with the newspaper, claims Kate was “concerned how hospitalization might harm the image of the happy-go-lucky Kate Spade brand.” She then detailed a time where she allegedly came “VERY close” to getting her late sister to go for treatment.“[Kate] was all set to go — but then chickened out by morning,” Saffo said, recalling a time when she attempted to take Kate to the “same place Catherine Zeta-Jones went for her successful bipolar treatment program.”
She continued: “I’d come so VERY close to getting her to go in for treatment. … We’d get sooo close to packing her bags, but — in the end, the ‘image’ of her brand (happy-go-lucky Kate Spade) was more important for her to keep up. She was definitely worried about what people would say if they found out.”
Saffo also suggested that Kate had a “plan [to take her own life]” since August 2014, after she became “fixated” on Robin Williams‘ death. Williams committed suicide by hanging. “We were freaked out/saddened but she kept watching it and watching it over and over. I think the plan was already in motion even as far back as then,” Saffo said to the newspaper. At one point in the interview, she added: “Sometimes you simply cannot SAVE people from themselves!”
As Saffo’s statements continue to make waves in the news, there may be holes in her story. “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 told PEOPLE following Saffo’s claims. “Her statements paint a picture of someone who didn’t know her at all.”
While it’s unclear if Kate suffered from depression prior to her death, reports have claimed that she and her husband of 24 years, Andy Spade, 55, had marital issues.
On the day of Spade’s death, NYPD released the following statement to HollywoodLife.com: “I can confirm it was an apparent suicide. On Tuesday June 5 at approximately 10:20 AM a police officer responded to a 911 call about an unconscious person. Upon arrival the officer discovered a 55-year-old woman named Katherine Brosnahan unconscious inside [her] Park Avenue apartment. EMS resounded and pronounced her dead on the scene. The investigation into the cause of death is ongoing.” Autopsy results are still pending.