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Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst's mom wants people to stop claiming that her daughter was murdered

Anneta Konstantinides   

Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst's mom wants people to stop claiming that her daughter was murdered
  • Cheslie Kryst's mother gave her first interview since the former Miss USA died by suicide in January.
  • On Red Table Talk, she pleaded with people to stop spreading rumors that Kryst was murdered.

When former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst died in January at the age of 30, the news shocked her family, friends, and the global pageant community.

Alice Simpkins, Kryst's mother, appeared on Red Table Talk this week to give her first interview since Kryst died by suicide on January 30. During the discussion, she made a plea to those who she said had been spreading rumors about her daughter's death.

"One thing I'd like to see laid to rest is this theory that Cheslie was murdered, and this call for people to get the police involved," Simpkins told host Jada Pinkett Smith.

"I know that my daughter died by suicide, and it's painful to hear people constantly contradict what we absolutely know," she continued. "I hope that those who want to continue to muddy her passing with something that just is false will stop and let our family heal."

On Thursday's episode, Simpkins talked more about Kryst's struggles with high-functioning depression. She said her daughter began showing symptoms 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."

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 continued. "She began taking all the right steps. She began seeing a counselor. She knew all the things to do. I just really felt like she was doing all the right things."

Simpkins said that on the day that Kryst died, she sent her a final text message when she knew Simpkins would be at her exercise class.

According to Simpkins, the 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."

Simpkins said at that point she "near blacked out," realizing that an hour had passed since Kryst sent the text. She went straight home to her husband David Simpkins — Kryst's stepfather — and they called the police and booked the first flight to New York City, where Kryst lived.

Simpkins said she was on the plane when police called to confirm that her daughter was dead.

It was only later that Simpkins would go back to Kryst's last text message, in which she said the pageant queen wrote that she could no longer "bear the crushing weight of sadness, hopelessness, and loneliness."

Simpkins said her daughter had been "blindsided" by online criticism after she won Miss USA in 2019. She hopes that by sharing more of Kryst's story, she can "encourage people to be kinder."

In addition to the false murder theory, Kryst's family also want to end speculation that they encouraged Kryst to get back into law after she became a correspondent on Extra TV.

"Even up until a few weeks before she passed, I was texting her saying here's how many hours I've billed this month and how happy I was for her that she would never have to do that again," David told Pinkett Smith. "I was always saying, you're having more impact in your current role than you would going back to law."

Simpkins and David said their family is attempting to heal with the help of a counselor. But the grief remains.

"We might live another 40, 50 years without her," David said. "Am I not going to remember her 10 years from now like I remember her now? That's one of the toughest things to think about."