"Yeah, I mean, I love her," Spade says of the former Melrose Place star. "She was nice to go out with me. I will always be indebted to her because she was so nice, so fun, and no apologies, went out with me, didn't care, even though I’m sure she took some grief."
"But I grew up loving her," he continues, recalling how they started dating. "She was on SNL once hosting when I was a writer. She goes, 'I remember you,' and I go, 'There's not a chance' ... she remembered me and I was some doofy writer, not getting any sketches on, of course, just, like, mesmerized by her, growing up on her and loving her. Ran into her later, we were friendly, and then we started hanging out. She’s always chirpy and fun and hilarious."
Spade says he checks in on Locklear now and then, and that the actress also reached out to him when his sister-in-law, Kate Spade, died last month by suicide.
"Heather, I check on her," Spade says. "What can you do other than just say hello, and check in, and say, 'If you ever want to say hi and and talk or anything,' and that's what people did to me with Kate. And there’s something nice about -- people are just there. It’s just sort of a friendly gesture, the way they did it to me."
Spade later said he didn't want to come off as judgmental when reaching out.
"No one can do anything with what happened with Kate [Spade], but at least when people just say 'hey' that's some niceness coming in, good vibes, instead of 'what's going on?' which is obviously very tough ... you don’t want to be condescending," he notes. "And [Locklear's] having a tough situation, whatever, we all do. I have had my down moments, like everybody, so I don’t look at anybody like, 'Ugh, can you believe?' I just go 'Sh**, everyone is like one inch away from having some trouble sometime.'"
A source told ET that Locklear was expected to head back to rehab after her arrest, and that her family was relieved that she would be going back into treatment.
But Spade and Locklear have clearly remained on good terms since their split. ET was on the set of Spade's show, Rules of Engagement, in 2007, when Locklear guest-starred. The actress jokingly told ET she and Spade were like "kissing cousins."
"We went together to a concert once, Kid Rock was there," she also recalled. "He started laughing -- 'You're like the same height' -- and I said, 'That's so not cute.'"
For more on Locklear's recent troubles, watch the video below: