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Mother of former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst speaks out about daughter’s private battle with depression

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April Simpkins, the mother Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst, who died from suicide, has released a statement about her daughter’s death at age 30.

Kryst leapt to her death from a New York City high rise Sunday.  The next day, the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner confirmed the pageant winner-turned lawyer and Extra correspondent’s death as a suicide.

“Today, what our family and friends privately knew was the cause of death of my sweet baby girl, Cheslie, was officially confirmed,” Simpkins’ message began. 

She called her daughter, “a ball of sunshine wrapped in smiles,” adding, “We talked, FaceTimed or texted one another all day, every day.”

Addressing Cheslie directly, her “devastated” mother said, “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.”

Simpkins said of her daughter, “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.”

In lieu of flowers, Simpkins asked for people to make a donation to Dress for Success, “an organization that was dear to [Chelsie’s] heart.” The non-profit provides professional clothing to people in need. 

Kryst spoke out about mental health during her reign as Miss USA, saying on the pageant’s Facebook page in 2019, “I do a lot to maintain my mental health, and the most important thing that I did is talk to a counselor.”

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, or worried about a friend or loved one, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 [TALK] for free confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even if it feels like it, you are not alone.

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