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Kate Spade’s Brother Earl Brosnahan Asks for Family Privacy

Kate Spade attends Steven Sebring's "Bygone Days" book signing at Ralph Lauren SoHo.

PRIVACY PLEASE: As the media coverage of Kate Spade’s apparent suicide is showing no signs of subsiding, one of the designer’s brothers, Earl Brosnahan, issued a statement Thursday thanking the torrent of strength people have provided and took aim at erroneous leaks to the media.

Two days after his sister’s body was found in her New York apartment from an apparent hanging, Brosnahan reiterated that the family’s privacy be respected. Earlier in the day, his brother-in-law Andy Spade dealt with the photographers camped outside their Park Avenue building in a curious way, by wearing a Halloween-like mouse mask to exit the building.

Brosnahan said, “We are grateful for the incredible outpouring of love and support the family has received over the last few days. We should all remember the beauty and joy that Kate brought to this world.”

He continued, “But it is sad and very hurtful, given the pain the family is enduring, that people with no real knowledge of the situation are leaking false, speculative information that maligns Kate’s character and belittles the health issues she bravely fought. We once again ask that the family’s privacy be respected during this challenging time.”

The designer’s death has turned into a media feeding frenzy, with some outlets citing unnamed sources alleging the contents of a note found at the scene Tuesday. Others cited unnamed fashion industry insiders who claimed Spade had been “drinking a lot” and was dealing with business problems. And The Daily Mail interviewed the son of the housekeeper who found Spade’s body.

The firestorm of publicity prompted Andy Spade to issue a statement Wednesday to The New York Times to try to set the record straight. Contrary to some media reports, Spade said “she was actively seeking help for depression and anxiety for the last five 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.”

Noting that he and his daughter, Frances Beatrix, were “in touch with her the night before and she sounded happy. There was no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock. And it clearly wasn’t her. There were personal demons she was battling,” Spade wrote in the statement.

Andy Spade also said the couple was not legally separated and never discussed divorce. However, they had been living in separate apartments within a few blocks of each other for 10 months. Their daughter Bea was living with both of them and they saw each other or spoke every day.

“We ate many meals together as a family and continued to vacation together as a family,” he said in the statement, which was obtained by WWD after first being reported by The New York Times. “Our daughter was our priority.…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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