Kate Spade
FILE PHOTO: Kate Spade arrives at the Council of Fashion Designers of America awards in New York on June 2, 2003, at the New York Public Library. Reuters/Chip East/File Photo

Andy Spade, designer Kate Spade’s husband, has spoken up about his wife’s suicide. The entrepreneur, who co-founded the Kate Spade New York brand with his wife, said Kate had been suffering from depression for years.

Andy and Kate started their company in 1993 before they married the next year. They had been at one time called a power couple by a magazine because of their successful professional and personal partnership.

On Tuesday, Kate ended her life. She left a note before hanging herself in a room in her Manhattan apartment. According to a report, the note was for her 13-year-old daughter with Andy, Frances Beatrix Spade, and that she told Bea not to blame herself for her death but to “Ask daddy!” instead.

In a released statement, Andy admitted that he and his wife had been living separately for the past 10 months. However, they still saw each other every day. They were not legally separated. Bea lived with both of them.

“We ate many meals together as a family and continued to vacation together as a family. Our daughter is our priority. 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.

Andy said Kate had been suffering from depression and anxiety for many years but was actively seeking help and working closely with her doctors for the last five years. They were also in touch with her the next before and she “sounded happy.” There was also no indication or warning that she would take her own life.

“It was a complete shock. And it clearly wasn’t her. There were personal demons she was battling,” Andy said.

He also refuted reports that she was suffering from substance or alcohol abuse and that there were problems in their business. Andy said that he had yet to see the note she purportedly left behind, though was appalled that it was “so heartlessly shared with the media” as it was a private message to Bea.

“Kate was the most beautiful woman in the world. She was the kindest person I’ve ever known and my best friend for 35 years. My daughter and I are devastated by her loss, and can’t even begin to fathom life without her. We are deeply heartbroken and miss her already.”

Andy and Kate met as university students in Phoenix, Arizona. Kate’s niece, “The Marvelous Mrs Maisel” star Rachel Brosnahan, posted a video of her aunt dancing on Instagram, calling the handbag designer “exceedingly kind, beautifully sensitive, insanely talented, funny as heck and one of the most generous people I have ever known.”

Actor David Spade also gave praise to his sister-in-law. David is Andy’s younger brother.