The Real Reason Lea Michele Hasn't Watched Glee's Cory Monteith Tribute Episode

It's hard to believe how much time has gone by since the tragic death of "Glee" star Cory Monteith. As fans of the show know, the actor suffered an untimely death in 2013. At the time, he was just 31 years old. The star struggled with substance abuse for quite some time, and according to Glamour, medical examiners ruled his cause of death as "mixed drug toxicity, involving intravenous heroin use combined with the ingestion of alcohol."

In the show "Autopsy: The Last Hours," Dr. Jason Payne-James elaborated a little more on what happened in Monteith's Vancouver hotel room the night of his death. "Cory was tragically unaware that his central nervous system was already compromised because of the amount of alcohol he had consumed throughout the evening," he shared (via Glamour). At the time, Monteith was starring in the hit show "Glee," where he played Finn Hudson, per IMDb. Monteith got his start on the show in 2009 and played the role until he died in 2013.

Once news of the star's death broke, tributes from celebrities came pouring in. At the time, the actor was dating his "Glee" co-star, Lea Michele, after meeting on the show's set. Michele broke her silence on Instagram regarding Monteith's death on July 29, 2013. "Thank you all for helping me through this time with your enormous love & support," she told fans. Cory will forever be in my heart." Now, Michele is sharing why she couldn't watch Monteith's tribute episode.

Lea Michele gets vulnerable

Cory Monteith's death hit many people hard, including his girlfriend Lea Michele. The star, who is currently touring for "An Evening With Lea Michele: Life In Music Tour," explained to the audience that there is one episode of "Glee" that she hasn't watched — the tribute to Corey Monteith, even though she starred in it. Michele spoke about her decision, and remembered singing Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love" in the 2013 tribute episode. "I think if I don't watch it, it just kind of feels like Finn is still there," the actor explained. "So this [song] really special."

She elaborated further on how she felt when Ryan Murphy asked her to choose a song for the episode. "I don't even remember what I was listening to at the time. Like, nothing. I just was in such a hole," she shared, adding, "I'm grateful that [Murphy] asked me. I really, really, really am. Because it needed to be something that felt real for me, but it was also so hard." Michele added that when she filmed the episode, she didn't want to be treated differently, but rather, she wanted to "come back to work and be with everyone" as it made her feel better.

Since Monteith's death, Michele seems to have picked up the pieces and tried to move on the best she can. In 2019, she tied the knot to businessman Zandy Reich.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse and mental health, please contact SAMHSA's 24-hour National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).