Editor’s note: This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
April Simpkins, the mother of Miss USA 2019 Chesley Kryst, said she is “forever changed” following her daughter’s suicide and that Kryst was dealing with depression.
“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,” Simpkins said in a statement on Wednesday.
Kryst took her own life by jumping from the 29th floor of the Orion condo building in midtown Manhattan on Sunday morning. The New York City Medical Examiner confirmed on Tuesday that she died by suicide.
Kryst received her law degree and MBA from Wake Forest University but put her career as a civil litigation attorney on hold to compete in pageants.
She won the Miss USA pageant in 2019 and placed in the top ten of the Miss Universe pageant that same year.
MISS USA 2018 REFLECTS ON CHESLIE KRYST’S SUICIDE: ‘CHECK ON YOUR STRONG FRIENDS’
After her pageantry success, Kryst became a correspondent for Extra TV, where she was nominated for two Emmys.
“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,” her mother said Wednesday.
“She was a vital part of our family which makes this loss even more devastating.”
SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE WILL BE PRINTED ON STUDENT ID CARDS IN SEVERAL STATES
Kryst discussed how she managed her mental health by seeing a counselor on the Miss USA Facebook page in 2019.
“The most important thing that I did was talk to a counselor,” Kryst said in a video at the time. “She’s really easy to talk to. She gives me great strategies, especially if I’m sad or happy or have a busy month ahead of me. So I definitely recommend that.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Sarah Rose Summers, who won Miss USA 2018 and crowned Kryst the next year, hinted at the challenges that come along with the title.
“It was a history-making moment to crown someone so inspiring,” Summers previously told Fox News Digital. “But it was also a moment of kind of relief, because we all know that with a lot of love comes hate.”