A source close to the Spade family tells ET that "Kate was a kind, generous, funny, warm and extremely private person. 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 chose to surface with unsubstantiated comments."
"Her statements paint a picture of someone who didn’t know her at all," the source adds.
Kate's older sister, Reta Brosnahan Saffo, told CBS News on Wednesday that she believes the 55-year-old designer -- who was found dead of apparent suicide on Tuesday -- was suffering from bipolar disorder.
"It finally took its toll on her," Saffo said in an e-mail to CBS News. "A very tragic and sad ending to the life of a very colorful and delightful being." Saffo reportedly also told her local paper, The Kansas City Star, via email that Kate's suicide "was not unexpected by me." "Sometimes you simply cannot SAVE people from themselves!"
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David Spade Mourns Sister-in-Law Kate Spade's Death With Touching Tributes
Kate's husband, Andy, meanwhile, was spotted for the first time since her death, emerging from his Upper East Side apartment building, about 12 blocks away from where Kate's body was found. According to Page Six, Andy and Kate had been separated for about six months.
Andy has since spoken out in a statement to The New York Times, revealing that he and Kate had been living separately for the last 10 months, but "never even discussed divorce."
"Kate was the most beautiful woman in the world. She was the kindest person I’ve ever known and my best friend for 35 years. My daughter and I are devastated by her loss, and can’t even begin to fathom life without her. We are deeply heartbroken and miss her already," he said.
"Kate suffered from depression and anxiety for many years. She was actively seeking help and working closely with her doctors to treat her disease, one that takes far too many lives. We 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," he continued. "My main concern is Bea and protecting her privacy as she deals with the unimaginable grief of losing her mother. Kate loved Bea so very much."
See more on Spade in the video below.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).