Former Miss USA 2019 and Extra correspondent Cheslie Kryst reportedly passed away at the age of 30 in New York City over the weekend.
According to CNN, Kryst died after allegedly jumping from a building in Manhattan. New York City Police confirmed the Miss USA pageant winner’s death and her family issued a statement. “In devastation and great sorrow, we share the passing of our believed Cheslie. Her great light was one that inspired others around the world with her beauty and strength. She cared, she loved, she laughed, and she shined.”
Along with being Miss USA and an Extra correspondent, Kryst was notably a civil attorney who conducted free legal work for prisoners who may have been sentenced unjustly. The North Carolina native was licensed in two states, and she earned a law degree and MBA from Wake Forest University. She also received her bachelor’s degree at The University of South Carolina, where she was a track athlete.
Extra also issued a statement about the former Miss USA’s passing. “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. Our deepest condolences to her family and friends.”
The Miss USA winner’s family also adds, “Cheslie embodied love and served others. Whether her work as an attorney fighting for justice, as Miss USA, and as a host on Extra. But most importantly, as a daughter, sister, friend, mentor, and colleague. We know her impact will live on.”
Cheslie Kryst Previously Spoke About Equality in Miss USA
In 2019, Kryst spoke about how she and other fellow beauty queens are an example of the equality that is now in the Miss USA pageant. “Three of the last four Miss USAs were women of color. There was Kara McCullough. There was Deshauna Barber. And that was important for me to see.”
She also stated that she and the other women of color Miss USA winners are not token victors based on race. “People didn’t think, ‘Oh that’s enough [Black winners]. It’s still possible for us to be success on your own merit. And it doesn’t matter if you look like the last winner, [if] you look like the last three. If you’re the best, you’re the best. And you can win.”
While speaking about the importance of female empowerment, Kryst went on to recall how a judge at a legal competition suggested to her that she should wear a skirt instead of pants because judges “prefer” skirts. “Glass ceilings can be broken wearing either a skirt of pants. Don’t tell females to wear different clothes while you give the men substantive feedback on their legal arguments.”