Cheslie Kryst's mom said the former Miss USA sent her a final text on the day of her death
- Alice Simpkins,
Cheslie Kryst's mother, gave her first interview since her daughter's death.
- Kryst, who was
Miss USAin 2019, died by suicideon January 30.
Cheslie Kryst's mother is opening up for the first time since her daughter's death.
Kryst's mother, Ariel Simpkins, appeared on "Red Table Talk" to share more about the pageant queen's struggle with depression and the final text she got from her daughter.
"I never thought I would be here," Simpkins told Jada Pinkett Smith on Wednesday's episode. "She truly was my best friend, she was the first person I talked to when I woke up."
Simpkins previously shared that Kryst had high-functioning depression. The term, which is not an official medical diagnosis, describes depression among people who maintain, or even appear to thrive in, happy-looking, productive lives, as experts previously told Insider.
Simpkins told Pinkett Smith that her daughter began showing signs in her early 20s.
"I knew Cheslie was suffering from depression. I didn't know the severity of it," Simpkins said. "I noticed smiles were a little forced. And I thought, maybe it's just stress. And then the attempt happened, and we had conversations that we hadn't really had before."
Simpkins said Kryst attempted suicide once before her death in January.
"It was after that first attempt that she and I grew very close," Simpkins said. "I wanted her to feel comfortable calling me."
She continued: "She began taking all the right steps. She began seeing a counselor. She was getting good sleep at night. She knew all the things to do. I just really felt like she was doing all the right things."
Simpkins said Kryst sent a text on the morning of January 30 when she knew her mother would be at her weekly exercise 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," Simpkins said. "The first thing she said is, 'First, I'm sorry. By the time you get this, I won't be alive anymore.'"
Simpkins said she didn't finish reading the text. Instead, she said, she went home to her husband David Simpkins — Kryst's stepfather — and they called the police and booked the next flight to New York City, where Kryst lived.
"Immediately I'm thinking this must be like the first attempt," Simpkins recalled. "Let's get on a plane, get up there, meet her at the hospital, let's see what we can do."
But Simpkins said the police called her when she was on the plane and confirmed Kryst was dead.
Simpkins added that she later went back to read her daughter's last text message, in which Kryst opened up more about what she was going through.
"I wish I could stay with you, but I cannot bear the crushing weight of persistence, sadness, hopelessness, and loneliness any longer," it read. "I've never told you these feelings because I never wanted you to worry."
Simpkins said Kryst then thanked her for "being there for me in some of my loneliest moments."
"You have kept me alive and ready to face another day because you answer every phone call and you are there for me at a drop of a hat," she continued. "You are the perfect mom and I will love you forever, even in death."
Simpkins said she doesn't know if she'll ever be able to get over her grief.
"I'm trying to accept that grief and I are going to do life together," she told Smith.
Kryst was a complex-litigation attorney who later worked as a host for Extra TV. In 2019, she became part of a historic moment when
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