Kate Spade, the 55-year-old fashion icon, was found hanged—with a red scarf tied to a doorknob—yesterday in her Upper East Side Manhattan home.
According to multiple sources, Spade also left behind an emotional suicide note, addressing her 13-year-old daughter, Frances Beatrix.
"Bea—I have always loved you. This is not your fault. Ask Daddy!" TMZ reports the note as saying.
Though the reason why Spade chose to take her own life is still unconfirmed, the suicide note, which Yahoo News says was found on the bed near her body, suggests that Spade's husband and business partner, Andy—brother of comedic actor David Spade—may know something more.
Since the news broke, however, a number of theories have emerged surrounding Spade’s death. One of which, published by The Kansas City Star, claims that Spade "suffered debilitating mental illness for the last three or four years and was self-medicating with alcohol."
The allegation came via email from Spade's older sister, Reta Brosnahan Saffo, who refused a phone interview because she “had taken a sedative.”
Saffo also claims her sister seemed fixated on Robin Williams after he committed suicide by hanging in 2014.
"We were freaked out/saddened, but she kept watching it and watching it over and over," wrote Saffo. "Sometimes you simply cannot save people from themselves! I think there was a plan even as far back as then."
Saffo also wrote that she and her sister had discussed getting treatment.
"She was all set to go—but then chickened out by morning. I even said I (would) go with her and be a 'patient' too (she liked that idea). I said we could talk about it all—our childhood, etc. That I could help her fill in any blanks she might have."
She added, "That seemed to make her more comfortable, and we'd get sooo close to packing her bags, but—in the end, the 'image' of her brand (happy-go-lucky Kate Spade) was more important for her to keep up. She was definitely worried about what people would say if they found out."
Saffo added that the stress associated with her brand "may have flipped the switch where she eventually became full-on manic-depressive."
But this morning, a People magazine report included sources claiming that Saffo has not talked to her sister in more than 10 years.
“The family is disgusted and saddened that at this time of great sorrow, Kate’s sister who has been estranged from the entire family for more than 10 years would choose to surface with unsubstantiated comments,” a source told the magazine. “Her statements paint a picture of someone who didn’t know her at all.”
In a report this morning, TMZ also addressed Spade’s mental health, alleging that she might have been "extremely depressed in her last days of life" because her husband wanted a divorce. Law enforcement confirmed with TMZ that Andy was not living at the family home, and that he and Kate had separated. He reportedly was living in an apartment nearby.
Regardless of the reason, Spade’s untimely and tragic death is sure to leave an unimaginable imprint on the hearts of many, especially that of her young daughter, Frances.