(ABC4) – In a 27-minute heartfelt interview with Red Table Talk, April Simpkins, the mother of Chelsie Kryst — a former Miss USA who died by suicide this year — speaks out about her daughter’s struggle with depression, revealing the last message her daughter sent her.
“I never thought I would be here. She truly was my best friend. She was the first person I talked to when I woke up. We would literally just go about our morning Facetiming each other; she’d be putting on her makeup, and I’d be getting myself ready at my desk,” Simpkins told Jada Pinkett Smith, co-host of Red Table Talk.
Simpkins explained that all of her daughter’s achievements never came as a surprise. “She always sought to do better, to learn more,” she said.
“I think what shocked so many people is when you see her on television when you see her on Instagram, TikTok, she’s smiling she’s bubbly and that was Chelsie, but Chelsie was also battling depression,” Simpkins said.
She says the preliminary signs of depression were there, but she did not know the severity of her daughter’s condition. Simpkins says this wasn’t her daughter’s first suicide attempt — following this incident she says the two grew closer.
“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,” Simpkins said.
Nearly six minutes into the interview, viewers learn that Kryst left a letter in her apartment the morning of her passing.
As Simpkins was leaving her workout class Sunday morning she said as she was going to call her daughter, she looked at her phone and saw a text message from Kryst.
A portion of it read:
“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. 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 any longer.”
Simpkins explained that it is healing for her to talk about her daughter and expressed how thankful she was to have spent 30 years with her daughter.
She hopes that opening up these discussions, and talking about her daughter’s struggles will encourage people to be kinder.
The 30-year-old died on January 30 after jumping from a building in New York City.