Relatives of Kate Spade are disputing statements from the late designer’s sister following Spade’s death from an apparent suicide.
In a statement to People Magazine, the unidentified family members said Spade’s sister Reta Brosnahan Saffo, 57, was estranged from her famous fashion designer sister for years when she told The Kansas City Star on Tuesday that Spade suffered from a mental illness.
“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,” the source reportedly said. “Her statements paint a picture of someone who didn’t know her at all.”
The source described Spade, 55, as a “kind, generous, funny, warm and extremely private person.”
Brosnahan Saffo reportedly told The Star she and Spade regularly spoke on the phone and that she tried to get her sister in to treatment for mental illness, but that Spade “chickened out.”
"I will say this was not unexpected by me. 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,” Brosnahan Saffo told The Star. “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.”
Spade was discovered by a housekeeper just after 10 a.m. Tuesday inside her Park Avenue apartment. Officials said she left a note at the scene.