Housekeeper who found Kate Spade considered designer her ‘best friend’

PICTURED: Traumatized housekeeper who found Kate Spade dead in her Manhattan apartment and took vacations with the designer she considered her ‘best friend’

  • Kate Spade was found dead aged 55 in her Park Avenue apartment Tuesday 
  • Discovered ‘unconscious and unresponsive’ by housekeeper Bella Cariaga
  • Cariaga’s son Mark Roland said his mother considered Spade her ‘best friend’
  • ‘She is a little shaken, especially with trauma such as this,’ he said of his mom
  • ‘It was just really shocking to find out her best friend Kate Spade and also a big influence in my life just passed,’ he said
  • Spade left a note telling her daughter Frances ‘Bea’ Beatrix it was not her fault 
  • ‘Bea I have always loved you. This is not your fault. Ask Daddy!’ it reportedly read
  • Reta Saffo believes her sister was suffering from bipolar disorder and had been planning to kill herself for a long time 

The housekeeper who discovered Kate Spade after her suicide says she considered the fashion designer to be her ‘best friend’.

Bella Cariaga would even go on vacation with her employer, while Spade promised to help her son Mark Roldan, who is pursuing a career in fashion, get a foot on the ladder.

Roldan, 23, said his mom was traumatized after finding Spade on Tuesday morning, and their entire family was devastated by her suicide aged 55. 

Spade, who shot to fame with her line of eponymous purses, was found ‘unconscious and unresponsive’ by Cariaga, who reportedly ran downstairs to inform the building’s superintendent.


Housekeeper Bella Cariaga (right) found Kate Spade (left) ‘unconscious and unresponsive’ after she committed suicide on Tuesday

Her son Mark Roldan (pictured with Cariaga) said his mom was traumatized after finding Spade on Tuesday morning, and their entire family was devastated by her suicide aged 55

He rushed back to the apartment, cut the scarf around Spade’s neck and attempted CPR. 

The designer was declared dead at the scene. It’s not clear how long she had been dead. The medical examiner will perform an autopsy.

‘My mom was one of the people that found her,’ he told Page Six. ‘She is a little shaken, especially with trauma such as this. 

‘It just really hit our family and I’m pretty sure the Spade family as well. It was just really shocking to find out her best friend Kate Spade and also a big influence in my life just passed.’ 

Cariaga’s Facebook page shows at least one family trip to the Spade estate in Napa Valley.

‘Tiff and Justin was invited to spend the weekend at kate spade place,’ she wrote in  August 2017, with a photo of two kids standing in front of a huge, Spanish-Colonial style home.

Kate Spade fell into a deep depression days before she committed suicide, police sources said

American icon: Kate Spade was found dead at the age of 55 in her Park Avenue apartment on Tuesday (Spade above in 2004)

Roldan said he was particularly close with Spade who he viewed as his mentor.

On one Napa Valley trip, he says she showed him the property and told him: ‘This could all be yours if you do the same thing I did. Really push and push and push day in and day out.’ 

The 23-year-old even brought Spade a bunch of flowers for Mother’s Day this year.

A touching video captured the moment he surprised the iconic designer.

‘Oh my God,’ Spade exclaimed as she opened the door, still in her pajamas.

‘I was like “It’s Mother’s Day, that’s why I’m in my pajamas,”‘ she added.

‘It’s OK,’ Roldan replied. 

Apartment: The designer left a note telling her daughter it was not her fault before taking her own life by hanging and allegedly told the girl to ‘ask daddy’ reports TMZ (Spade’s apartment above)

The designer left a note before taking her own life by hanging and was discovered ‘unconscious and unresponsive’ by her housekeeper just after 10am on Tuesday (Spade is taken from her home in a body bag)

Spade’s older sister Reta Saffo told DailyMail.com that Kate struggled to cope with her celebrity status, which only made her suspected bipolar disorder worse. She added that her sister had been planning to kill herself for a long time before she hanged herself on Tuesday.

‘My little sister Katy was a precious, precious little person,’ Saffo told us. ‘Genuine in almost every way.

‘Just dear – but she was surrounded by YES people, for far too long, therefore she did not receive the proper care for what I believed to be (and tried numerous times to get her help for) bipolar disorder… stemming from her immense celebrity.’

Remarks: ‘Kate has not been affiliated with the brand for more than a decade, she and her husband and creative partner, Andy, were the founders of our beloved brand. Kate will be dearly missed. Our thoughts are with Andy and the entire Spade family at this time,’ said executives for the fashion line Kate Spade

Saffo said the 55-year-old never anticipated how successful her brand would become – and how she, with it, would become a household name.

‘She never expected it – nor was she properly prepared for it,’ she told DailyMail.com.

‘Unfortunately, untreated, it finally took its toll on her,’ she told the DailyMail.com. ‘A very tragic and sad ending to the life of a very colorful and delightful being.’

Saffo said she was aware of her sister’s battle with mental illness, but it wasn’t until comedian Robin Williams killed himself in August 2014, that Saffo began to realize Kate’s obsession with suicide and her unraveling mental health as she obsessively watched news coverage of his death.

Increasingly concerned about her mental state, Saffo says that she and Kate’s husband Andy Spade repeatedly urged her to go for treatment, including to the same treatment program where Catherine Zeta-Jones went for her successful bipolar treatment.

But she’d always ‘chickened out’ at the last moment.

TMZ also reports that Kate and her husband Andy were living separate lives, and that Andy had moved into a separate apartment after 24 years of marriage.

Kate pictured far left as a young child with her family in the 1960s

Kate , 55, hanged herself with a scarf in her Park Avenue home in Manhattan on Tuesday morning.

The designer left behind a heartbreaking suicide note to her daughter Frances Beatrix, 13, which read: ‘Bea – I have always loved you. This is not your fault. Ask Daddy!’

Andy was seen with the couple’s only child on Tuesday at the girl’s school, with a source telling DailyMail.com that he arrived with a police officer to get his daughter and tell her the news. 

In a statement, Spade’s family reportedly said they were ‘devastated by today’s tragedy.’

‘We loved Kate dearly and will miss her terribly,’ they said. ‘We would ask that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this very difficult time.’  

She is survived by her husband Andy, who is the brother of actor David Spade, and daughter Frances.

If you or anyone you know needs to talk, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Lifeline Australia 13 11 14

To contact the Samaritans, visit www.samaritans.org or call 116 123.

 

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