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Kate Spade dealt with depression and anxiety, her husband said. Her death ‘was a complete shock.’

Fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead in her New York apartment in an apparent suicide. Here's a look back at her career and wildly successful brand. (Video: Nicki DeMarco/The Washington Post)

Kate Spade’s husband, Andy, said Wednesday that the fashion designer was being treated for depression and anxiety in the years leading up to her death by apparent suicide this week.

“Kate suffered from depression and anxiety for many years,” Andy Spade said in a statement that was published in full by the New York Times. “She was actively seeking help and working closely with her doctors to treat her disease, one that takes far too many lives.”

He did not specify a particular condition but said she had been seeing a doctor and taking medication and did not use other substances or alcohol.

Spade, who said that he and his wife had been living in separate apartments for the past 10 months, added that the two had spoken the night before her death and that “she sounded happy.”

“There was no indication and no warning that she would do this,” he said. “It was a complete shock. And it clearly wasn’t her. There were personal demons she was battling.”

Spade said the two lived near each other, spoke or saw each other daily and continued to take vacations together. Their daughter, Frances Beatrix, who spent time with each of them, was with Andy Spade when her mother died, the Times reported.

Kate Spade, whose handbags were essential accessories for upscale women, dies at 55

After her death on Tuesday, reports pegged to unnamed police officials circulated that said she had left a suicide note for her daughter. Spade said he had not seen the note.

“I am appalled that a private message to my daughter has been so heartlessly shared with the media,” he said.

The couple were married in 1994, one year after founding her namesake brand, famous for its handbags and accessories. Spade said they had never discussed divorce.

“We were not legally separated,” he said. ‘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.”

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