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Late Miss USA Cheslie Kryst's Upcoming Memoir Sheds Light On Her Heartbreaking Private Battle With Depression

Late Miss USA Cheslie Kryst's Upcoming Memoir Details Her Private Battle With Depression

[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

As you may recall, the world lost a shining star the day Cheslie Kryst — AKA Miss USA 2019 — died by suicide. We were all left stunned when her mother, April Simpkins, revealed the 30-year-old’s final message to her in a tear-jerking episode of Red Table Talk. And now, the late pageant star’s memoir is set to be released in April. In it, she details even more about her private struggles before her tragic death.

Before her passing, Cheslie left a message to her mother with a final wish to get the memoir she’d been working on published. The 56-year-old is holding true to that. Very soon, By The Time You Read This will hit shelves with a percentage of its proceeds going toward the Cheslie C. Kryst Foundation in support of mental health programs for young adults. While speaking to People on Monday, the late pageant contestant’s mother said:

I knew it was important to share this. I knew there are other people who felt what I was feeling and could relate.”

In Cheslie’s own words, the book details her “unshakable feeling that I did not belong” and her battle with a “constant inner voice repeating ‘never enough'”. The pageant queen was under unthinkable pressure in her life. She said that she felt like “I had to be perfect because I had to represent for all youth, women, and Black people who also wanted to be in the room but had been denied access.”

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So, so sad. That’s so much pressure on one person — and on top of that, she was already dealing with her own private struggles with mental health even beyond feeling the weight of the rest of the world on her shoulders. In an excerpt given to the outlet, Cheslie wrote:

“Just hours after my [Miss USA] win, I had to delete vomit-face emojis that a few accounts had plastered all over the comments on my Instagram page. More than one person messaged me telling me to kill myself … All of this only added to my long-standing insecurities — the feeling that everyone around me knew more than I did, that everyone else was better at my job, and that I didn’t deserve this title. People would soon find out I was a fraud. I felt like an imposter, but not just in pageants.”

The former Extra correspondent revealed her “panicky” way of life, saying she always nitpicked herself and never felt god enough:

“Over the next few weeks, the media coverage continued. I almost always suppressed my panicky thoughts and feelings of inadequacy during my interviews. I only felt like a failure afterward, as I meticulously picked apart each of my responses and kicked myself for not using a better word or saying a profound phrase or interjecting humor or throwing out a useful stat.”

In fact, she said what should’ve been one of the happiest moments of her life ended up just making things worse:

“Winning Miss USA hadn’t made my imposter syndrome go away. Instead, I was waiting for people to realize I didn’t have a clue about what I was doing. I’d perfected how to deal with that feeling in competition or in small doses — I could compartmentalize anything in short bursts. I’d immediately focus my thoughts on positive statements of power, but that only lasted for so long.”


By The Time You Read This officially hits shelves on April 23. Our hearts continue to be with Cheslie’s family and loved ones. May she rest in peace.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, help is available. Consider contacting the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988, by calling, texting, or chatting, or go to

[Image via DJDM/WENN/Avalon]

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Apr 22, 2024 14:11pm PDT