Cheslie Kryst’s death by suicide on January 30 shocked the world. For the first time since Cheslie’s death, her mother, April Simpkins, is speaking out about her daughter’s final moments. During her appearance on Red Table Talk, April read the last text message the 30-year-old sent just before she took her own life.
“The morning of her passing, Cheslie left a note in her apartment. It was very simple. She just said she wanted to leave everything to me. Sunday mornings Cheslie knows I go to work out at my exercise class. I was leaving my class, I was gonna call her on my way home, and when I looked at my phone I noticed there was a text message from her,” April said.
Cheslie’s last text message began: “First, I’m sorry. By the time you get this, I won’t be alive anymore, and it makes me even more sad to write this because I know it will hurt you the most…” April admitted to Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Norris that she “basically blacked out” after that, but she later read the rest of the message.
April continued to read Cheslie’s text, “I love you, mom, and you are my best friend and the person I’ve lived for for years. I wish I could stay with you, but I cannot bear the crushing weight of persistent sadness, hopelessness, and loneliness for any longer. I’ve never told you these feelings before because I’ve never wanted you to worry and because I hoped they would eventually change, but I know they never will. They follow me through every accomplishment, success, family gathering, friendly dinner. I cry almost every day now like I’m in mourning. I’ve wished for death for years, and I know you would want to know and want to help. But I haven’t wanted to share this weight with anyone. Regardless of that, thank you sincerely for being there for me in some of my loneliest moments without me even telling you I needed you. You’ve kept me alive and ready to face another day because you answer every phone call, and you’re there for me at the drop of a hat. You listened to me and care when I tell you what goes on in my life, and you’ve always made me feel like you love me. I love you more than any person I’ve ever known. You’ve done nothing wrong. You’ve done everything right. I no longer feel like I have any purpose in life. I don’t know if I ever really did.”
April skipped over some of Cheslie’s “final wishes” in the text message and read the last part of Cheslie’s message. “I’ve pushed away most of my friends, and I can’t fix any of it no matter how hard I’ve tried,” Cheslie wrote. “So I will leave and rejoin God in heaven and hope to find peace there. I don’t want to leave, but I genuinely feel like I have to if I want to escape my loneliness that feels like it has no end. I’ve fought against depression for a long time, but it’s won this time around. There aren’t enough words in the world to describe my love and appreciation for you. You are the perfect mom, and I will love you forever. Even in death. Feel free to share this message. People should know that you’re the best mom in the world, and you were the best mom to me that I ever could have hoped for.”
April revealed that she and husband David Simpkins, Cheslie’s stepdad, learned that Cheslie was dead when they were at the airport. They were on their way to New York City to find out what was going on with Cheslie. They had gotten on the plane when the police confirmed that Cheslie had died. “I remember hearing my husband sobbing,” April revealed. They went to New York to claim Cheslie’s body. Just before her death, Cheslie posted a final message on Instagram that was captioned, “May this day bring you rest and peace.”
Cheslie’s mom said that her daughter struggled with “high-functioning depression” and had attempted suicide before. “I knew Cheslie was suffering from depression. I didn’t know the severity of it,” April admitted. After her first attempt, Cheslie began seeing a counselor.
Cheslie won Miss USA in 2019. She also had a law degree from Wake Forest University and went on to become an Emmy-nominated Extra correspondent. April revealed that despite all of Cheslie’s accolades her daughter had the “ability to deflect” and not reveal how she was really doing.
April also took the time to speak about the theory that Cheslie was murdered and put the theory to bed once and for all. “I know that my daughter died by suicide, and it’s painful to hear people constantly contradicting what we absolutely know. I hope that those who are wanting to continue to muddy her passing with something that just is false will stop and let our family heal,” she said. Red Table Talk airs Wednesday at 12 p.m. ET on Facebook Watch.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at tel: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).