Kate Spade’s Brother Seeks Pri­vacy, Re­spect Af­ter De­signer’s Death

WWD Digital Daily - - News - BY ROSE­MARY FEITELBERG

As the me­dia cov­er­age of Kate Spade’s ap­par­ent sui­cide is show­ing no signs of sub­sid­ing, one of the de­signer’s broth­ers, Earl Bros­na­han, is­sued a state­ment Thurs­day thank­ing the tor­rent of strength peo­ple have pro­vided and took aim at er­ro­neous leaks to the me­dia.

Two days af­ter his sis­ter’s body was found in her New York apart­ment from an ap­par­ent hang­ing, Bros­na­han re­it­er­ated that the fam­ily’s pri­vacy be re­spected. Ear­lier in the day, his brother-in-law Andy Spade dealt with the pho­tog­ra­phers camped out­side their

Park Av­enue build­ing in a cu­ri­ous way, by wear­ing a Hal­loween-like mouse mask to exit the build­ing.

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

He con­tin­ued, “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.”

The de­signer’s death has turned into a me­dia feed­ing frenzy, with some out­lets cit­ing un­named sources al­leg­ing the con­tents of a note found at the scene Tues­day. Oth­ers cited un­named fash­ion in­dus­try in­sid­ers who claimed Spade had been “drink­ing a lot” and was deal­ing with busi­ness prob­lems. And The Daily Mail in­ter­viewed the son of the house­keeper who found Spade’s body.

The firestorm of pub­lic­ity prompted Andy Spade to is­sue a state­ment Wed­nes­day to The New York Times to try to set the record straight. Con­trary to some me­dia re­ports, Spade said “she was ac­tively seek­ing help for de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety for the last five years, see­ing a doctor on a reg­u­lar ba­sis and tak­ing med­i­ca­tion for both de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety.

Earl Bros­na­han crit­i­cized the leak­ing of “false, spec­u­la­tive in­for­ma­tion that ma­ligns Kate’s char­ac­ter.”

There was no sub­stance or al­co­hol abuse. There were no busi­ness prob­lems.”

Not­ing that he and his daugh­ter, Frances Beatrix, were “in touch with her the night be­fore and she sounded happy. 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,” Spade wrote in the state­ment.

Andy Spade also said the cou­ple was not legally sep­a­rated and never dis­cussed di­vorce. How­ever, they had been liv­ing in sep­a­rate apart­ments within a few blocks of each other for 10 months. Their daugh­ter Bea was liv­ing with both of them and they saw each other or spoke ev­ery day.

“We ate many meals to­gether as a fam­ily and con­tin­ued to va­ca­tion to­gether as a fam­ily,” he said in the state­ment, which was ob­tained by WWD af­ter first be­ing re­ported by The New York Times. “Our daugh­ter was our pri­or­ity.…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.”

Kate Spade with her hus­band Andy.

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