The father of iconic fashion designer Kate Spade is speaking out after her apparent suicide and revealing details of their last shared phone call just hours before she would take her own life.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Spade’s father Earl “Frank” Brosnahan divulged details of their last conversation, sharing that his 55-year-old daughter was “happy.”
“She was happy and we made plans to meet in California,” Brosnahan told the Wall Street Journal in the exclusive, adding that she “spoke excitedly” to him about their West Coast trip with 13-year-old daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade.
Brosnahan went on to share how he urged his daughter to quit the fashion industry altogether, stating how Spade made more than enough money to live comfortably and could do without the stress and pressures of her job.
“[But] she didn’t want to,” he said. “She liked the business.”
The 89-year-old says he was completely caught off guard and overcome by the sudden loss.
Spade’s husband of more than 20 years, Andy Spade, released a statement on Wednesday denying reports of the death stemming from marital troubles. In text messages sent to the the publication, he called her sudden passing “devastating and a total shock to my family.”
“We were not going through a divorce,” he wrote. “We had an amicable separation and had dinner with our daughter and got along and were trying to work things out.”
In his longer statement, Andy provided more details of their strained familial situation.
“For the past 10 months we had been living separately, but within a few blocks of each other,” he wrote. “Bea was living with both of us and we saw each other or spoke every day. We ate many meals together as a family and continued to vacation together as a family. Our daughter was our priority.”
He went on to state how they were “not legally separated” and have “never even discussed divorce.”
“We were best friends trying to work through our problems in the best way we knew how,” Andy said. “We were together for 35 years. We loved each other very much and simply needed a break.”
“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,” he said.
In an earlier statement, Andy and the family said they were “heartbroken” and “miss her already.”
Spade, 55, died by suicide at her Upper East Side apartment on Tuesday morning. Found by the family housekeeper at 10:20 a.m., autopsy reports state Spade hung herself with a red scarf tied to her bedroom doorknob, though it is still unclear when she actually passed.0comments
Spade and her husband Andy met in college at Arizona State University, later moving together to New York City where the two built her fashion empire from the ground up.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).