Cheslie Kryst is a former Miss USA who died by suicide in New York City on January 30, 2022. She was 30 years old.
“Extra,” the TV show where she worked as a correspondent, confirmed her death on January 30, writing on Twitter, “Our hearts are broken. Cheslie was not just a vital part of our show, she was a beloved part of our ‘Extra’ family and touched the entire staff. Our deepest condolences to all her family and friends.”
The Miss America Organization also tweeted about Kryst’s death, writing, “We are heartbroken to hear about the passing of Cheslie Kryst, Miss USA 2019. Cheslie was an incredible example and a role model for so many. We send our deepest condolences to her family, friends, and all those who knew her.”
On her LinkedIn page (which is no longer available), Kryst described herself as an “Emmy Award-nominated correspondent and television host. Former Miss USA and civil litigation attorney.” On her Instagram page, she described herself as “Cheslie Kryst, JD, MBA” and wrote, “God first.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Kryst’s Family Says She Was a ‘Great Light’
CNN reported that Kryst died on the morning of Sunday, January 30, 2022, “after jumping from a building in Manhattan.”
According to the New York Post, Kryst jumped from a “high-rise apartment building in Midtown.” The Post reported that she jumped from her “luxury 60-story Orion building at 350 W. 42nd St. around 7:15 a.m. Sunday morning and was found dead in the street below.”
The Post reported that she lived on the building’s ninth floor and was alone when she died. She left a note that did not indicate why she jumped but said she wanted to leave everything to her beauty-queen mother, the Post reported.
“In devastation and great sorrow, we share the passing of our beloved Cheslie,” her family said in a statement obtained by CNN. “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.”
2. Kryst’s Last Instagram Post Referenced Rest & Peace
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Kryst’s last Instagram post, made just hours before she died, read: “May this day bring you rest and peace ❤️” The post contained a glamour shot of her face.
People have now filled the thread with tributes. “I will never forget meeting you and running home to tell Gio that I had just met the brightest light. We were just getting started in our friendship, but you will stay with me forever. Miss you already sweet friend,” read one.
“I’m in disbelief. This feels like a bad dream 😓 You were kind, friendly, intelligent, graceful and so much more. When I met you for the first time in NYC I was taken aback by your kindness and warmth. You were a force Cheslie and my heart is broken to know you are gone so soon 💔 May you Rest in Peace sweet angel 🙏🏼 We will remember you always,” read another.
3. Kryst Was Named Miss USA in 2019 After Serving as Miss North Carolina
Kryst wrote that she served as “Miss North Carolina USA” in 2019.
“Traveled across North Carolina to speak about women’s empowerment, fashion in the workplace, and the importance of education. Represented North Carolina at the 2019 Miss USA Competition and won the title of Miss USA 2019 on May 2, 2019,” she wrote.
Kryst was also an associate attorney for Poyner Spruill LLP in Charlotte and a project manager for a consulting firm. She was also a portfolio planning intern for FCA Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. She served as a national parliamentarian for the National Black Law Students Association, and an intern for Chevrolet Volt Marketing. She was a legal intern for the Division of Legislative Affairs for the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
4. Kryst Was a Correspondent on ‘Extra’
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Kryst wrote on LinkedIn that she worked for ExtraTV Entertainment News as a correspondent from 2019 to present in New York City.
“View movie screenings and attend or watch awards shows, product releases, court hearings, and other events to gather information in preparation for entertainment-related stories. Conduct interviews both remotely and in person via red carpets, press junkets, and the like and communicate with producers in order to determine priorities for corresponding stories,” she explained on LinkedIn.
She also worked as a “diversity advisor” for Poyner Spruill LLP from November 2020 through October 2021, and she was a millennial advisory board member for the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts.
She was also a member of Class 40, Leadership Charlotte, described as: “A program for emerging and existing leaders in Charlotte. Its purpose: to develop and enhance volunteer community leadership by providing a diverse group of leaders with the opportunity to increase their community knowledge, civic network, and service to the community.”
5. Kryst Received Many Honors During Law School
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Kryst received her law degree from Wake Forest University School of Law, according to her LinkedIn page. She graduated in 2017.
“Activities and Societies: President (2015-16) – Wake Forest Sports and Entertainment Law Society; National Parliamentarian (2015-16) – National Black Law Students Association; Parliamentarian, 1L Rep – Wake Forest Black Law Students Association; Member – Moot Court Board; Member – Trial Bar; Member – Deacons LEAD,” she wrote on LinkedIn, listing the following accomplishments:
NATIONAL CHAMPION – 2017 AAJ Student Trial Advocacy Competition
CHAMPION – 2013 Wake Forest 1L Trial Bar Competition
1ST RUNNER-UP – 2017 Wake Forest Zeliff Trial Competition
TOP 25 ORALIST – Jessup International Moot Court Competition (Mid-Atlantic Region)
2015, 2017 ESSAY COMPETITION AND BLSA SCHOLARSHIP WINNER – Wake Forest BLSA
FINAL FOUR – 2014 Wake Forest Law Walker 1L Moot Court Competition
CERTIFICATE OF ACHIEVEMENT RECIPIENT – South Carolina House of Representatives
She graduated from the Darla Moore School of Business with a degree in marketing and Human Resources management in 2013.
“Activities and Societies: Alpha Lambda Delta, Track and Field Team, Mock Trial, Carolina Service Council,” she wrote on LinkedIn.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week with assistance in English and Spanish. You can also speak with a trained crisis counselor 24/7 by texting HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line.