“Kate was the most beautiful woman in the world,” he told PEOPLE in a statement. “She was the kindest person I’ve ever known and my best friend for 35 years.”
Andy, the co-founder of Kate’s original fashion empire and new brand, Frances Valentine, was rumored to be seeking a divorce. Many initially assumed their marital problems or financial issues were behind Kate’s fatal decision.
Though they had been living apart for 10 months, Andy squashed any rumor that they had even discussed divorce, and confirmed that they still did many things together as a family with their 13-year-old daughter, Bea.
“For the past 10 months we had been living separately, but within a few blocks of each other,” said Andy. “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.”
As the media has run wild with assumptions that their pending divorce was behind the iconic designer’s suicide, Andy wanted to set the record straight.
“We were not legally separated, and never even discussed divorce,” he added. “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 suffered from depression and anxiety for many years,” he said of her struggles with mental illness. “She was actively seeking help and working closely with her doctors to treat her disease, one that takes far too many lives.”
Andy even claimed he was in contact with his wife the night before her death and she “sounded happy.”
“There was no indication and no warning that she would do this,” he continued. “It was a complete shock. And it clearly wasn’t her. There were personal demons she was battling.”
The fashion designer’s husband asserts that her mental health issues were, in fact, the ONLY reason behind her tragic decision, and that rumors surrounding financial crisis, divorce, business problems, or substance abuse were simply false:
“This is the truth. Anything else that is out there right now is false. 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.”
Andy also says they loved doing business together and co-parenting their teen daughter, Bea. He’s appalled that the private note left behind to their daughter has been twisted by the media.
In a statement released to the New York Daily News, the Spade family has asked for privacy while they grieve during this difficult time.
Our prayers are with the Spade family as they grieve the loss of a truly wonderful woman who brought color, joy, and life to so many, even amidst her pain.