Naya Rivera’s body has been found, on the anniversary of her former Glee co-star, Cory Monteith’s death.
Seven years after Cory Monteith died of a drug overdose in Vancouver, on the 13th of July 2013, the Ventura County Sheriff's department confirmed in a press conference on Monday that the body they found at Lake Piru in California was Naya Rivera’s.
It’s yet another blow for the former cast of the hit musical show, which ran from 2009 until 2015, with a string of tragedies over the past couple of years leading to claims of a Glee ‘curse’.
“I don’t know if I would say it was cursed, but it’s unfortunate for most of them,” an insider from the show told The New York Post.
“The things that have happened with some of the cast . . . it’s very sad.”
Naya Rivera, who played Santana Lopez on the show, has been found dead at the age of 33, after renting out a boat with her four-year-old son, Josey Hollis Dorsey, on Lake Piru in California, only for him to be found asleep and alone on the boat hours later.
In a press conference the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department said: “We are confident the body we found is that of Naya Rivera,” Sheriff Bill Ayub said.
“As you can imagine it’s been an extremely difficult time for her family throughout this ordeal as fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, our hearts are with them and we share their grief for Naya’s loss.”
The Sheriff went on to say that there was no indication of foul play or no indication that her death was a suicide.
The police department said Naya’s son, Josey, said the pair went swimming and he was helped back up on to the boat by his mum, “who boosted him on to the deck from behind”.
“He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water.”
The Sheriff said it would be speculation to say at this point how the events unfolded, however there are a lot of currents that appear on the lake, particularly in the afternoon, and they believe “perhaps the boat started drifting, it was unanchored and that she mustered enough energy to get her son back on to the boat but not enough to save herself”.
Josey was found a few hours later by a leasing agent, after Naya failed to return the boat.
He was wearing his life jacket and wrapped in a towel. An adult-sized life jacket was found on the boat.
Naya shared joint custody of Josey with her former husband, Ryan Dorsey, whom she divorced in 2018.
Naya and Ryan shocked fans back in 2014 when they tied the knot, just three months after she had broken off her engagement with Big Sean.
She filed for divorce in 2016, citing irreconcilable differences, but decided a couple of months later to drop the proceedings.
The actress welcomed their son, Josey, on September 17, 2015 at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles.
However, on Thanksgiving weekend in 2017, Naya was arrested on suspicion of domestic battery against Ryan.
Just a few months later the charges were dropped after Ryan asked for her not to be prosecuted.
Fans of the show were left in shock in 2013, when one of the lead actors, Cory Monteith, who played Finn Hudson on the series, was found dead in his Vancouver hotel room at the age of 31, after taking a lethal mix of heroin and alcohol.
“We are so saddened to confirm that the reports on the death of Cory Monteith are accurate,” his rep said in a statement to People at the time. “We are in shock and mourning this tragic loss.”
Cory, who was dating Lea Michele who played Rachel Berry on the show, at the time, had checked himself into rehab just four months before his death.
“I classify this death as accidental,” coroner Claire Thompson said, according to the New York Post. “Mr. Monteith was found in a collapsed position on the hotel room floor. It appeared that Mr. Monteith had been dead for several hours.”
Five years after his death, his mum, Ann McGregor told People: “I still can’t pick up the pieces.”
“My world totally stopped. And I’m a different person than I was before.”
She went on to say that she heard the news of his passing from Lea Michele, who rang her “screaming on the phone” asking her: “Is it true about Cory?”
Since then, Lea has paid tribute to Cory every year in an Instagram post, and also has a tattoo with the word ‘Finn’ written on her lower back.
Mark Salling, who played Noah “Puck” Puckerman on the hit show, died in 2018 after taking his own life, just one month before he was due to be sentenced for procession of child pornography.
In 2015, Mark was arrested after investigators found a laptop, hard drive, and USB flash drive, which contained thousands of images and videos of child porography, containing children as young as three-years-old.
He pleaded guilty in 2017 and was due to be sentenced in March 2018, with TMZ reporting he was expected to serve between four and seven in prison, with 20 years of supervised release.
According to documents obtained by People magazine, Mark was required to register as a sex offender and pay $50,000 to each victim.
However, in January 2018, just months before his sentencing, he died by suicide in Los Angeles.
Mark had dated Naya Rivera from 2007 until 2010. In her 2016 memoir called Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up, Naya hinted that his arrest hadn’t come as a big surprise to her.
“I can’t say I was totally shocked. When Mark dumped me, I thought it was the worst thing ever, but can you imagine if that didn’t happen?..,” she wrote.
“And I was laying there in bed when the battering ram came through the door?”
Earlier this month, Lea Michele’s former Glee castmate accused her of bullying, during the time they spent filming the show together.
Lea’s post about the Black Lives Matter movement was ridiculed by former co-star Samantha Ware, who appeared on Glee in 2009.
“George Floyd did not deserve this. This was not an isolated incident and it must end. #BlackLivesMatter,” Lea wrote online.
Samantha Ware was quick to respond to Lea’s post and slammed the star for her behaviour towards her back when they worked together.
In bold capital letters the actress, who played Jane Hayward on the series, claimed Lea made her life ‘hell’ on set, and even made threats towards her.
“LMAO remember when you made my first television gig a living hell?!?!” she wrote. “Cause I’ll never forget.”
It didn’t take long for other stars to respond. Shortly after the accusations went viral, Ariana Grande - Lea’s Scream Queens co-star and friend - unfollowed her. So too did her Glee co-star Keke Palmer.
Alex Newell, Amber Riley and Dabier Snell - who all co-starred in Glee - also reacted to the tweet in support of Samantha.
A few days later, Lea apologised, writing: “While I don’t remember ever making this specific statement and I have never judged others by their background or color of their skin, that’s not really the point.
“What matters is that I clearly acted in ways which hurt other people. Whether it was my privileged position and perspective that caused me to be perceived as insensitive or inappropriate at times or whether it was just my immaturity and me just being unnecessarily difficult, I apologize for my behavior and for any pain which I have caused. We all can grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my own shortcomings.”
Samantha Ware said in an interview with Variety that all Lea’s apology did was”affirm that she hasn’t learned anything.”