At just 30 years old, former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst died by suicide, reportedly jumping from the Orion building in New York City early Sunday morning.
Kryst, crowned Miss USA in 2019, was found on the street below the 60-story building, according to the New York Post. In addition to her pageantry work, Kryst was an attorney and a host on “Extra.”
Her family released the following 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.
Just hours before her death, Kryst posted a photo of herself to Instagram, along with the caption: “May this day bring you rest and peace.”
Almost immediately, the celebrity tributes for Kryst began pouring in.
Rapper Snoop Dogg posted a series of emojis on Kryst’s Instagram post, including praying hands.
NBC journalist Joelle Garguilo commented: “I need to say once more … you were the brightest light. My heart can’t comprehend this and just need to say you are so incredibly loved.”
Nia Sanchez, who was crowned Miss USA in 2014, wrote: “There are no words. Your light will continue to shine.”
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“You were always so kind and full of light,” wrote former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo. “The ultimate role model with so much to offer the world. Rest in peace, sweet Cheslie.”
Sarah Rose Summers, who crowned Kryst in 2019, offered a lengthy message, writing, “Although I crowned her, I looked up to her in many ways. She was a bright light of wisdom, dedication, and strength. She truly was a star — a Division 1 athlete turned attorney at just 26, before making history as the oldest woman to be crowned Miss USA at 28, and went on to place in the top 10 at Miss Universe.”
“Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family the tough questions,” Summers continued. “And be aware and on the lookout for warning signs of a mental health struggle, like changes to behavior or even verbal cues.”
Victoria Paul, who competed alongside Kryst before becoming a “Bachelor” contestant, added: “I’ll always carry the light you gave to me. I love you, Ches. I’ll never stop.”
Kryst’s tragic death comes roughly one year after Allure published an essay she wrote, in which the former Miss USA winner mourned turning 30, detailing her struggle with the cultural beauty standards placed on women:
Each time I say, “I’m turning 30,” I cringe a little. Sometimes I can successfully mask this uncomfortable response with excitement; other times, my enthusiasm feels hollow, like bad acting. Society has never been kind to those growing old, especially women.
“[T]urning 30 feels like a cold reminder that I’m running out of time to matter in society’s eyes — and it’s infuriating,” she continued. “After a year like 2020, you would think we’d learned that growing old is a treasure and maturity is a gift not everyone gets to enjoy. Far too many of us allow ourselves to be measured by a standard that some sternly refuse to challenge and others simply acquiesce to because fitting in and going with the flow is easier than rowing against the current. I fought this fight before and it’s the battle I’m currently fighting with 30.”
You can read her full essay here.
Please be in prayer for Kryst’s family as they mourn such a devastating loss.
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