Cheslie Kryst died at 30 years old from suicide and her father Rodney Kryst, 62, is speaking out for the first time. He wants people to know that she didn’t do drugs or alcohol but rather it was likely depression that lead her to take her own life. “She was pure, she didn’t take any kind of drugs or prescription medication,” Cheslie’s father told New York Post on Tuesday, Feb. 1. “She never had any kind of substance abuse problem.”
He also hinted that there may have been more aspects that attributed to her depression. “I think it had a lot to do with family dysfunction, but it will be awhile before we can talk more. She was sad.” The man claiming to be Cheslie’s father reportedly sobbed as he spoke with the outlet.
Meanwhile, Cheslie’s mom April Simpkins spoke with Gayle King on Monday, Jan. 31, the day after Cheslie passed. “Cheslie wasn’t just my daughter; she was my best friend,” Gayle said April told her. It seems Cheslie reciprocated those feelings. “Months earlier, Cheslie had told me the exact same thing: Her mother was her best friend,” Gayle wrote in an essay published Tuesday.
Then, on Wednesday, Feb. 2, after Cheslie’s cause of death was confirmed as suicide, April released the following statement to HollywoodLife: “I have never known a pain as deep as this. I am forever changed. Today, what our family and friends privately knew was the cause of death of my sweet baby girl, Cheslie, was officially confirmed. While it may be hard to believe, it’s true. 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. 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. She was a vital part of our family which makes this loss even more devastating. Cheslie – to the world, you were a ball of sunshine wrapped in smiles. 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. 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.”
Chelsie took her own life on Sunday, Jan. 30. A woman had jumped to her death from the 60-story Orion at 350 West 42nd Street in Manhattan around 7:15 AM. It has since been confirmed that this woman was Miss USA 2019 winner Cheslie Kryst. “In devastation and great sorrow, we share the passing of our beloved Cheslie,” her family told HollywoodLife in a statement.
“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,” the statement continued. “Cheslie embodied love and served others, whether through her work as an attorney fighting for social 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. As we reflect on our loss, the family asks for privacy at this time.”
She had posted a chilling message on Instagram on the day she took her own life. She uploaded a stunning and elegant headshot where she rested her head on hand. “May this day bring you rest and peace,” she captioned the post. In addition to being a pageant winner and acclaimed lawyer, she was a correspondent at EXTRA. Her dear friend and co-worker Rachel Lindsay paid tribute to her during a segment on the show and expressed that Cheslie “was inspiring to me, I respected her.”