© 2024 WFAE

Mailing Address:
WFAE 90.7
P.O. Box 896890
Charlotte, NC 28289-6890
Tax ID: 56-1803808
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

April Simpkins, mother of former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst, shares her late daughter's accomplishments and struggles in new book

Cheslie Kryst was an American television correspondent, model, and beauty pageant titleholder who was crowned Miss USA 2019. Kryst was also an attorney and a correspondent for the TV show Extra. She died by suicide in 2022.
Patrick Prather/Miss USA
Cheslie Kryst was an American television correspondent, model, and beauty pageant titleholder who was crowned Miss USA 2019. Kryst was also an attorney and a correspondent for the TV show "Extra." She died by suicide in 2022.

NOTE: This show originally aired on May 9, 2024.

You can call or text 988 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to reach free, live support if you or someone you know has thoughts of suicide, a mental health or substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress.

Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst had everything — on the outside: Pageant titles, a career as an entertainment journalist with a law degree who passed the bar twice. Inside, however, she suffered for years from persistent depression, and in 2022 she took her own life.

She left behind a manuscript, which her mother, April Simpkins, helped finish and publish. In the book, "By the Time You Read This: The Space between Cheslie's Smile and Mental Illness ― Her Story in Her Own Words," Simpkins shares for the first time what she experienced in the aftermath of Cheslie’s death. When faced with such a devastating loss, how does a mother find a way to carry on?

On the next Charlotte Talks, we sit down with Simpkins to talk about her daughter’s life, legacy and the work she's doing in the mental health field.

GUEST:

April Simpkins, mother of former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst. Simpkins is a mental health advocate, serving as an ambassador for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and a board member for NAMI Piedmont Tri-County, where she serves her local community.

In a new book, Cheslie Kryst, who was crowned Miss USA in 2019 and died by suicide in 2022, writes about her challenges in the pageant world dealing with racism and self esteem issues. Her mother, April Simpkins, published the book after Kryst's death and is a co-author.
Forefront Publishing
In a new book, Cheslie Kryst, who was crowned Miss USA in 2019 and committed suicide in 2022, writes about her challenges in the pageant world dealing with racism and self esteem issues. Her mother, April Simpkins, a former Mrs. North Carolina published the book after Kryst's death and is a co-author.

Stay Connected
Sarah Delia is a Senior Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.