Cheslie Kryst’s Mother Breaks Silence About Her Death by Suicide: ‘I Have Never Known a Pain as Deep as This’

Former Miss USA 2019 and celebrity Extra correspondent Cheslie Kryst‘s mother, April Simpkins, is speaking out about her daughter’s death. Kryst died by suicide on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022. She was 30-years-old. Read Simpkins’ statement in full. 

Cheslie Kryst, who died by suicide on Jan 30, 2022
Cheslie Kryst | Jemal Countess/Getty Images for BET

Cheslie Kryst’s mother speaks out about her death by suicide

Showbiz Cheat Sheet received a statement from Simpkins’ representation via email on Feb. 2, 2022. “I have never known a pain as deep as this,” the grieving mother begins. “I am forever changed.”

Her statement continues: “Today, what our family and friends privately knew was the cause of death of my sweet baby girl, Cheslie, was officially confirmed. While it may be hard to believe, it’s true. Cheslie led both a public and a private life. In her private life, she was dealing with high-functioning depression which she hid from everyone — including me, her closest confidant — until very shortly before her death.” 

Miss USA Cheslie Kryst appears onstage at the 2019 Miss Universe Pageant
Miss USA Cheslie Kryst | Paras Griffin/Getty Images

“While her life on this earth was short, it was filled with many beautiful memories. We miss her laugh, her words of wisdom, her sense of humor and mostly her hugs. We miss all of it – we miss all of her. She was a vital part of our family which makes this loss even more devastating. 

Cheslie — to the world, you were a ball of sunshine wrapped in smiles. We talked, FaceTimed or texted one another all day, every day. You were more than a daughter — you were my very best friend. Talking with you was one of the best parts of my day. Your smile and laugh were infectious.” 

“I love you baby girl with all my heart,” Simpkins concluded. “I miss you desperately [and] I know one day we’ll be together again. Until then, rest easy and in peace.” 

Cheslie Kryst’s mother request donations in honor of her memory 

Simpkins’ statement concluded: “In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Dress for Success, an organization that was dear to her heart.” According to their website, the global non-profit empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing professional attire and the development tools to help women pursue their passions. 

“Between this, my Dress for Success tour, Miss Universe prep, and Miss USA appearances it’s going to be a busy time for me and I’ve never been happier or more excited,” Kryst said in an Instagram post from October 2019 when she signed on as a correspondent for Extra TV

Simpkins also added a resource for the National Suicide Hotline. She signed off: “Thank you all for continuing to respect the privacy of our family while we grieve.” 

Former Miss USA died in a fall from a Manhattan high-rise 

According to the New York Police Department, Kryst fell from a high-rise building on Manhattan’s West Side (via The New York Times). There was no evidence of a note, but Kryst did post a photo of herself to Instagram the day she died. The caption read: “May this day bring you rest and peace.” 

How to get help: In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 to speak with a trained crisis counselor at the free Crisis Text Line.