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Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst’s mom reveals the beauty queen struggled with ‘high-functioning depression’ in secret

By Brooke Villanueva Published Feb 03, 2022 11:54 am

Trigger warning: suicide. 

Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst was secretly struggling with “high-functioning depression,” her mother April Simpkins disclosed in a statement released on Wednesday, Feb. 2. 

While she had eyes on her as a public figure, her mental condition was something she “hid from everyone—including me, her closest confidant—until very shortly before her death,” she said. 

“I have never known a pain as deep as this. I am forever changed,” added Simpkins, referring to Kryst as her “best friend,” with whom she talked, FaceTimed, and texted every single day.

Her life was short, but it had nothing but beautiful moments that her nearest and dearest will treasure forever. “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.”

Addressing Kryst, she concluded: “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.” 

The beauty queen—who also worked as a lawyer and Extra correspondent—was found lifeless on Sunday, Jan. 30, after jumping from her high-rise apartment building in Manhattan, New York. According to PEOPLE, the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner confirmed that her death has been ruled a suicide. 

If you think you, your friend, or your family member is considering self-harm or suicide, you may call the National Mental Health Crisis Hotline at 1553 (Luzon-wide, landline toll-free), 0966-351-4518 or 0917-899-USAP (8727) for Globe/TM users, or 0908-639-2672 for Smart users.