Kate Spade Left Suicide Note—Meant to Explain Herself—With Messages for Husband and Daughter

“We would ask that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this very difficult time.”
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The note that designer Kate Spade left behind after she hanged herself early Tuesday had messages for both her husband and 13-year-old daughter and was meant to explain her actions, a New York City police source tells PEOPLE.

Spade, 55, was found by a housekeeper around 10 a.m. in her bedroom at her Park Avenue apartment in N.Y.C., according to authorities. She was pronounced dead at the scene, according to The New York Times.

Police have publicly described Spade’s message as a “suicide note” but said they would not discuss its contents, and department spokespeople similarly declined when reached by PEOPLE.

However, a police source confirms the note was intended for Spade’s family.

The Associated Press reported that the note was meant in part to tell Spade’s daughter that the suicide was not her fault.

Spade’s husband, Andy, the brother of comedian David Spade, was at their home when she killed herself, according to the New York Daily News. Their daughter, Frances Beatrix, was at school.

Andy picked up Frances at school, accompanied by police. “Everyone was crying,” a source close to the family tells PEOPLE.

In a statement, Spade’s family reportedly said they were “devastated by today’s tragedy.”

“We loved Kate dearly and will miss her terribly,” they said. “We would ask that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this very difficult time.”

Kate Spade, née Katherine Noel Brosnahan, founded her namesake label with her husband in 1993. Thanks largely to her colorful handbags, the company rose through the years to billion-dollar prominence even as she sold her ownership stake in 2006.

In 2016, she returned from a years-long fashion hiatus to launch a new accessories, handbag and shoes brand, Frances Valentine, named after her daughter.

“I needed a break and I really wanted to raise my daughter,” she told PEOPLE. “People asked me, ‘Don’t you miss it?’ I really didn’t. I mean, I loved what I was doing, but I didn’t miss it as much as I thought I might.”

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).


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