Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst’s Mother Opens Up About Daughter’s Battle With Depression

by Maria Hartfield

30-year-old Cheslie Kryst was battling ‘high-functioning’ depression before her tragic death her mother confirmed on Wednesday. Days after her daughter’s passing, April Simpkins opens up about Kryst’s struggle and the importance of mental health.

Cheslie Kryst died after jumping from an upper level of her apartment building in New York City. The New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled her death a suicide on Saturday, Variety reported. She was an attorney, former Miss USA winner, and an Extra correspondent.

In 2001, Cheslie wrote an article for Allure titled “A Pageant Queen Reflects on Turning 30.” In the write-up, she mentions the extreme amount of pressure placed upon women in today’s society. “Why work so hard to capture the dreams I’ve been taught by society to want when I continue to find only emptiness?” she wrote.

Cheslie Kryst’s mother releases a heart-breaking statement

Kryst’s mom, April Simpkins reveals she wasn’t aware of her daughter’s depression leading up to her tragic death. Simpkins released a statement saying, “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.”

The horrific event has left many stunned questioning why someone as successful as Kryst would do this. Before she leapt to her death, Kryst left a simple note saying she wanted to leave everything to her mom.

A heartbroken April Simpkins responded to the unimaginable loss saying, “I have never known a pain as deep as this. I am forever changed.” Cheslie was “my best friend,” she said.

“Cheslie – to the world, you were a ball of sunshine wrapped in smiles,” wrote Simpkins. “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.”

“While her life on this earth was short, it was filled with many beautiful memories,” she wrote of Kryst. “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 grieving mother tied up her statement with a message to the late Cheslie Kryst saying, “I love you, baby girl, with all my heart. I miss you desperately. I know one day we’ll be together again. Until then, rest easy and in peace.”

 If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or are experiencing a mental health crisis you can dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to