Kate Spade's cause of death confirmed amid rumors of alcohol abuse

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The firestorm of publicity prompted Andy Spade to issue a statement Wednesday to The New York Times to try to set the record straight.

Noting that he and his daughter, Frances Beatrix, were "in touch with her the night before and she sounded happy".

Both Brosnahan and Elyce Arons - Arons became close friends with Spade as an 18-year-old at the University of Kansas and later became her business partner in both Kate Spade and Frances Valentine - said they had been aware of Spade's depression and the separation in her marriage.

The fashion icon was found in her Park Avenue apartment Tuesday morning and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The businessman also condemned media speculation about Spade's "business problems" and "substance abuse" in the leadup to her death, and says he is "appalled" by reports of a note found in her apartment.

Her husband disputes that saying he has not seen any note at all.

Andy, 55, said he and Kate had lived separately for almost a year, but denied that either of them was seeking a divorce.

Kate and Andy Spade sold majority stake in their company to Neiman Marcus in 1999, and the remaining shares in 2006 for a combined $93 million.

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She continued by email: "I will say this was not unexpected by me". "We loved Kate dearly and will miss her terribly".

"My main concern is Bea and protecting her privacy as she deals with the unimaginable grief of losing her mother", his statement concludes.

Andy Spade said he and his wife had been living separately for the past 10 months but saw each other or spoke every day.

Brosnahan told the Star that Spade would be "delighted" if she knew her death inspired a national discussion that might help people struggling with mental illness. "We loved each other very much and simply needed a break", Andy Spade added.

Saffo responded that she was not willing to take a call and had taken a sedative.

Spade got her spade in the '80s working for women's magazine "Mademoiselle" in Manhattan, when she moved in with Andy Spade, the brother of David Spade.

"She was a great talent who had an immeasurable impact on American fashion and the way the world viewed American accessories", they said. "We would talk a lot about it and end up laughing", she said. "That I could help her fill in any blanks she might have".

Members of the family have shared their memories of Spade to show the real version of her.