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Mother of Cheslie Kryst speaks out after suicide

Last Sunday, the 30-year old, who was a former winner of Miss USA, died after jumping from a Manhattan apartment building. Her mother has shared her thoughts.

What happened to former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst?
Elijah NouvelageREUTERS

Cheslie Kryst’s mother, April Simpkins, has spoken out following the tragic death of her daughter. As we reported earlier this week, the former Miss USA winner was pronounced dead on Sunday after she threw herself off a 60-storey apartment building in Manhattan.

Cheslie Kryst’s “high-functioning depression”

"While it may be hard to believe, it's true," Simpkins said via E! News, “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.

"I have never known a pain as deep as this. I am forever changed."

"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."

The autopsy, confirmed by the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City, showed that Kryst had died by suicide.

Former Miss World commits suicide

New York police initially told the Washington Post that former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst, who worked as a entertainment correspondent for the television show Extra, had died after apparently jumping from a Manhattan apartment building. She was just 30 years old.

“In devastation and great sorrow, we share the passing of our beloved Cheslie,” Kryst's family said in a statement at the time. "Her great light was one that inspired others around the world with her beauty and strength."

Who was Cheslie Kryst?

Kryst earned an MBA and a law degree from Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Before Kryst entered the Miss USA pageant, she worked as an attorney, providing pro bono legal work for inmates who were served unjust prison sentences, the Washington Post said.

She was a part of a group of five Black women who won the five major global beauty pageants that year, the first time ever, the Post reported. Kryst's victory in the contest was marked by her wearing her natural free-flowing curls.

"So, I was a little bit worried and anxious about doing it, but I thought, ‘I want to do it as the most real and authentic me,’ and that’s really what my hair represents,” she said in an interview with Refinery29.com.

After she won, Kryst began working as a correspondent for the entertainment show Extra.

'Our hearts are broken. Cheslie was not just a vital part of our show, she was a beloved part of our Extra family and touched the entire staff,' the show's producers said in a statement.