Cheslie Kryst's Stepdad Addresses Speculation About Her Law Career Before Her Death (Exclusive)
By Paige Gawley
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David and April Simpkins are speaking out following Cheslie Kryst's death. In an exclusive clip from an upcoming episode of Red Table Talk, David shut down speculation about his stepdaughter's law career that swirled after she died by suicide in January.
"We didn't want to have an interview that was a soundbite," David said of himself and April, Cheslie's mom. "There's been speculation about what happened and we've had to see things posted that's not true."
"She was an attorney for a while," he continued of Cheslie, a former Miss USA who was serving as a correspondent at Extra at the time of her death.
"There was some speculation that we were trying to push her back into law," David said. "Even up until a few weeks before she passed, I was texting her, saying, 'Here's how many hours I've billed this month,' and [saying] how happy I was for her that she would never have to do that again."
In fact, David said, "I was always saying, 'You're having more impact in your current role than you would going back to law.'"
So, when David saw the chatter about Cheslie's law career, he thought of the individuals sparking those rumors, saying, "You people don't really know."
After Cheslie's January death in New York City, April mourned her 30-year-old daughter in a statement to ET.
"I have never known a pain as deep as this. I am forever changed. Today, what our family and friends privately knew was the cause of death of my sweet baby girl, Cheslie, was officially confirmed," the statement read. "While it may be hard to believe, it’s true. Cheslie led both a public and a private life. In her private life, she was dealing with high-functioning depression which she hid from everyone -- including me, her closest confidant -- until very shortly before her death."
"While her life on this earth was short, it was filled with many beautiful memories. We miss her laugh, her words of wisdom, her sense of humor and mostly her hugs. We miss all of it - we miss all of her," the statement continued, adding that the activist "was a vital part of our family which makes this loss even more devastating."
Addressing her daughter directly, April's statement said, "To the world, you were a ball of sunshine wrapped in smiles. We talked, FaceTimed or texted one another all day, every day. You were more than a daughter -- you were my very best friend. Talking with you was one of the best parts of my day. Your smile and laugh were infectious."
"I love you baby girl with all my heart. I miss you desperately," she added. "I know one day we’ll be together again. Until then, rest easy and in peace."
A new episode of Red Table Talk, with Cheslie's heartbroken mom and stepdad, will stream Wednesday, May 4 at 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET on Facebook Watch.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.