The Paris Review

The Indignity of Celebrity Suicide

The day we learn Kate Spade took her life we are in Rivella, Italy, a small town on the Amalfi Coast—it finds us even in this small corner of the world, stamped on the front page of the International Times and in international papers that line the table where we breakfast.

The reporting is invasive and crude. Lines from Kate Spade’s suicide note, the last words to her daughter are printed worldwide. Speculation and implication of marital troubles at the bottom of it. Next news cycle. Kate Spade’s sister speaks out, saying that she was not surprised; Kate had suffered from bipolar depression but was afraid to get treatment lest the news break out. A life comes to a tragic end reduced by simplistic statements.

After breakfast, our plan is to tour the Villa Cimbrone. In Roman times, the brochure of the walking tour tells us, Villa Cimbrone was an agricultural estate that produced timber for naval use. At the end of the nineteenth century it was abandoned and later rediscovered

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