Yesterday, we reported on the sad news that iconic fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead of an apparent suicide in her Park Avenue home.
She was only 55 years old.
Spade's death came as a complete shock to her fans and colleagues, for obvious reasons.
Many who knew her viewed the wildly successful businesswoman, wife, and mother as the quintessential woman who "had it all."
But those who knew her best often saw a different side of Kate.
Friends and family claim that she struggled with a number of emotional disorders in recent years, often displaying symptoms of bipolar disorder.
(It's not known if she was ever properly diagnosed, or if this is an assessment made by her loved ones.)
A clearer picture of Spade's anguished final days is beginning to emerge, as several members of the designer's inner-circle have begun to share their feelings.
Among them? Kate's brother-in-law comedian David Spade.
"She was so sharp and quick on her feet. She could make me laugh so hard. I still can't believe it," Spade reflected on social media Tuesay.
A darker remembrance was offered by Kate's sister Reta Saffo, who told Page Six that she believed Kate's "happy go lucky" image was a facade.
Saffo said, somewhat controversially:
“She was always a very excitable little girl and I felt all the stress/pressure of her brand may have flipped the switch where she eventually became full-on manic depressive."
“I will say this was not unexpected by me.”
Meanwhile, TMZ has published excerpts from Spade's suicide note, which seem to confirm that she was distraught over her husband's decision to end their marriage.
Kate reportedly wrote:
"Bea - I have always loved you. This is not your fault. Ask Daddy!"
It's unclear what Kate meant by the "ask daddy" remark, but it's widely believed that her husband, Andy Spade, was aware of the reasons why she may have taken her life.
Sources say Andy had recently moved out of the apartment he shared with Kate after deciding to end their 24-year marriage.
Saffo said she did everything in her power to try and convince Kate to seek help for depression and mood swings, but was unsuccessful.
She told Page Six:
"I’d come so very close to getting her to go in for treatment," I’d spoken with them on the phone (not telling them exactly who the patient would be)."
"They agreed to fly in and talk with her and take her with them to the treatment center,” Saffo told Page Six.
Saffo said Spade became fixated on the idea of suicide following the 2014 death of Robin Williams.
“She kept watching it and watching it over and over. I think the plan was already in motion even as far back as then,” Saffo claimed
She says it pained her to give up on her sister, but Saffo eventually ended her efforts to persuade Kate to seek treatment:
“After numerous attempts, I finally let go,” Saffo said.
“Sometimes you simply cannot save people from themselves! One of the last things she said to me was:
"‘Reta, I know you hate funerals. . . but for me would you please come to mine at least.'”
Our thoughts go out to Kate's family at this difficult time.