The Truth About Naya Rivera And Cory Monteith's Relationship

Naya Rivera's body was finally found in Lake Piru in California on July 13, 2020 after five days of searching. Fans were relieved her family and loved ones would have some solace in knowing what happened to her, but Glee fans also noted that Rivera was found on the anniversary of Cory Monteith's death in 2013.

Their fellow former Glee co-star Kevin McHale wrote on Twitter, "I'm not religious by any means, but you'd be hard-pressed to convince me that Cory didn't help find our girl today." He added, "These 2, in many ways, were the male and female versions of one another. So nice, cared deeply, were stupidly talented, the most fun, and really really good people." McHale shared a video of the two late stars signing autographs and giving hugs to fans — proof that they were exactly who he knew them to be. 

Rivera and Monteith starred on Glee together, and they reportedly had a "sibling-like" relationship off-screen, per Mirror U.K. In Rivera's memoir, Sorry Not Sorry, she discussed being devastated by his overdose and remembered when he had a drink at the wrap party of the final episode of Glee. Rivera wrote, "I doubt I'm alone in feeling a lot of regret about his death. Since he died, a lot of us have spent time wondering and talking about what would have happened if someone had stepped in or confronted him about what was going on." But they weren't always super close. 

Naya Rivera and Cory Monteith weren't always as close

Although the two were great friends off-screen, Naya Rivera wrote in her memoir that she drifted away from Cory Monteith when he started dating their other co-star, Lea Michele. The two women were not close on set. She reportedly wrote in her 2016 memoir, Sorry Not Sorry, "The more serious they got, the less Cory hung out with us and the more he seemed like a different person." Rivera did note that Michele wasn't a party girl, so she thought that maybe the relationship was good for Monteith, who struggled with substance abuse and died of a heroin and alcohol overdose in 2013. Michele was in a relationship with him at the time.

Still, it seems that everyone had moved on from any Glee drama in the wake of Monteith's death. When news broke that Rivera's body was found in Lake Piru after boating with her 4-year-old son Josey, Michele shared a tribute to the two stars, posting never-before-seen pictures of the two on the set of Glee. Several other cast members posted messages to Rivera and Monteith as well, per E! News

Fans are sharing clips of Naya Rivera singing in the Cory Monteith tribute episode

Fans have begun circulating a clip of Naya Rivera singing "If I Die Young" in the 2013 Glee tribute episode for Cory Monteith, which is both heartbreaking and haunting, given some of the lyrics. One fan wrote, "Naya Rivera singing 'If I Die Young... sink in me in the river...' as tribute to Cory and then her body being found on the exact anniversary of his death is just heartbreaking." Another added, "The fact that Naya Rivera's best performance on Glee was "If I Die Young" for Cory Monteith's death and she ended up dying young and her body was discovered on the anniversary of Cory's death is shattering my heart."

Rivera was a lead cast member for all six seasons of the hit television show, playing Santana Lopez, a cheerleader who came out after falling for her best friend, Brittany Pierce (Heather Morris). Monteith played a football star, Finn Hudson, and was written out of the fifth season after his death. 

Naya Rivera tragically died after saving her son

Naya Rivera, 33 years old, was first reported missing on July 8, 2020 when a boat rental employee found her son sleeping on a pontoon boat in the middle of Lake Piru with his life jacket on. An adult life jacket was found in the boat. Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said in a statement, per People, "It has been an extremely difficult time for her family throughout this ordeal... Our hearts are with them and we share in their grief for Naya's loss." He added that her 4-year-old son says that they swam in the lake together and then she put him back in the boat and he "looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water." 

Rivera's body was found exactly seven years after Cory Monteith died at 31 years old due to an accidental overdose in a hotel. Although there is no correlation, another Glee cast member, Mark Salling, died by suicide at age 35 in 2018. 

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

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