June 6 (Reuters) - The husband of fashion designer Kate Spade on Wednesday broke his silence on her death, saying she suffered from depression for years and that the couple had been living separately for 10 months.
Andy Spade said in a lengthy statement to the New York Times that he and his teenaged daughter Bea were "devastated by her loss, and can’t even begin to fathom life without her."
Kate Spade, who with her husband built a fashion empire on the popularity of her colorful handbags, was found dead in her New York City apartment on Tuesday, an apparent suicide. She was 55.
Andy Spade said that his wife suffered from depression and anxiety for many years but there was "no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock."
"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," he said in his statement.
Kate Spade through the years
Kate Spade through the years
Kate Spade during The 2001 VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards - Arrivals at The Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Kate Spade during The Fresh Air Fund Salutes American Heroes at Tavern on the Green in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Designer Kate Spade arriving at the 2002 Ace Awards presented by The Accessories Council at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. November 5, 2002. Photo by Evan Agostini/ImageDirect.
Kate Spade during The Concert for New York City - After Party at Hudson Hotel in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Kate Spade during 13th Annual Glamour Magazine's Women of the Year Awards - Arrivals at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
Kate Spade with husband and brother-in-law David Spade at the 20th Annual American Fashion Awards at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center in New York City. 06/14/2001. Photo: Evan Agostini/ImageDirect
Kate Spade during 17th Annual CFDA Awards at JP Morgan Atrium in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Designer Kate Spade is photographed at her offices. (Photo by David Howells/Corbis via Getty Images)
Kate Spade and Andy Spade during Costume Institute Benefit Dance: 'Party of the Year' - Arrivals at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
Kate Spade during 14th Annual GLAMOUR Women of the Year Awards - Red Carpet at American Museum of Natural History in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
Kate Spade (Photo by Carley Margolis/FilmMagic)
Kate Spade during CFDA 7th on Sale Kick-Off - Red Carpet and Inside at Sky Light Studios in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Rabbani and Solimene Photography/WireImage for LaForce and Stevens)
NEW YORK - JUNE 7: Designer Kate Spade attends the '2004 CFDA Fashion Awards' at the New York Public Library June 7, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
Kate Spade, Andy Spade and Ruth Lande Shuman, founder/president of Publicolor (Photo by Carley Margolis/FilmMagic)
David Spade and Kate Spade during Photographer's Gallery Presents Slim Aarons Curated by Kate Spade at Fred Segal Cafe in West Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Chris Weeks/WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - APRIL 30: Kate Spade and Andy Spade attend PARSONS The NEW SCHOOL FOR DESIGN 59TH ANNUAL BENEFIT and FASHION SHOW Honoring SUSAN D. KRONICK, Vice Chairman, Federated Department Stores, Inc. at Grand Hyatt on April 30, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by JIMI CELESTE/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 10: Kate Spade attends the 2015 Basser Center For BRCA Benefit at Cipriani Wall Street on November 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28: Kate Spade speaks on stage at Build Series Presents Kate Spade and Andy Spade Discussing Their Latest Project Frances Valentine at Build Studio on April 28, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/WireImage)
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Spade said he also wanted to clear up rumors and speculation that have surfaced about the couple's personal life.
"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 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," he said in his statement.
There were media reports that Kate Spade left a suicide note.
"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," Andy Spade said.
Kate and Andy Spade sold their last stake in the Kate Spade accessories brand in 2006 to focus on raising their daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade. In 2016, they launched a new footwear and accessories brand called Frances Valentine, naming it after their daughter, who is now 13.
Celebs wearing Kate Spade throughout the years
Celebs wearing Kate Spade throughout the years
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 07: Taylor Swift is seen on July 07, 2014 in New York City holding a Kate Spade Purse. (Photo by Gardiner Anderson/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 10: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the World Mental Health Day celebration with Heads Together at the London Eye on October 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
PORT WASHINGTON, NY - JUNE 25: Leighton Meester holding a woven Kate Spade purse and Blake Lively on location for 'Gossip Girl' on June 25, 2008 in Port Washington, New York. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Victoria Justice is seen wearing Kate Spade in Gramercy Park on March 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 09: Actor Isla Fisher Kate Spade presentation during New York Fashion Week: The Shows on February 9, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 05: Mandy Moore attends the 2017 CFDA Fashion Awards at Hammerstein Ballroom on June 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Presley Ann/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 05: Ellie Kemper attends the 2017 CFDA Fashion Awards at Hammerstein Ballroom on June 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
MAY 31, 2017: SYDNEY, NSW - (EUROPE AND AUSTRALASIA OUT) Newly married Pippa Middleton boards a seaplane in a Kate Spade stripe dress after enjoying lunch with husband James Matthews at the Cottage Point Inn in Sydney, New South Wales. (Photo by Rohan Kelly/Newspix/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits The Foundling Museum on November 28, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 09: Actor Lucy Hale attends the Kate Spade presentation during New York Fashion Week: The Shows on February 9, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 07: Actress Millie Bobby Brown arrives at The BAFTA Tea Party at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on January 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 12: Actress Jamie Chung attends the Kate Spade New York - Presentation - Fall 2016 show during New York Fashion Week at The Rainbow Room on February 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Killian/WireImage)