Fans were distraught to hear that former Miss USA 2019 winner and Extra correspondent Cheslie Kryst, 30, had died by apparent suicide on Sunday morning.
The pageant winner allegedly died after jumping from the 60-story Orion building where she lived in the Hell’s Kitchen section of Manhattan. Krsyt lived alone on the ninth floor and was last seen on a terrace located on the 29th floor.
Kryst’s family is mourning her loss deeply. They said the following in a statement:
In devastation and great sorrow, we share the passing of our beloved Cheslie. 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. 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.
The Daily Mail reported that Kryst was an advocate for mental health and shared openly about her experiences with online bullying and trolling, which she said was incessant thanks to her public persona.
The former Miss North Carolina shared some of those details in an essay published in Allure magazine. “My challenge of the status quo certainly caught the attention of the trolls, and I can’t tell you how many times I have deleted comments on my social media pages that had vomit emojis and insults telling me I wasn’t pretty enough to be Miss USA or that my muscular build was actually a ‘man body,’” she wrote.
Kryst also reflected on her milestone birthday in 2020 and how it was affecting her mental state. She had been the oldest person to win the Miss USA title in 2019.
Though the essay ended on a hopeful note, it was full of despair.
“Each time I say ‘I’m turning 30,’ I cringe a little,” the “Extra” alum wrote. “Sometimes I can successfully mask this uncomfortable response with excitement; other times, my enthusiasm feels hollow, like bad acting…turning 30 feels like a cold reminder that I’m running out of time to matter in society’s eyes — and it’s infuriating.”
“How do I shake society’s unwavering norms when I’m facing the relentless tick of time? It’s the age-old question: ‘What happens when ‘immovable’ meets ‘unstoppable?’” she continued. “I now enter year 30 searching for joy and purpose on my own terms — and that feels like my own sweet victory.”
The Miss USA winner was a lawyer, social justice advocate, and a supporter of Black Lives Matter, the Daily Mail reported. She had recently expressed frustration with her law career in general, sharing on TikTok that she no longer wanted to practice law due to “constant microaggressions” and “a lack of diversity.”
In a video posted six days ago, Kryst told a fan how she struggled to meet billable hours because she felt like she was “trading in hours of my life in order to get paid.”
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a free hotline for individuals in crisis or distress or for those looking to help someone else. It is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.
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