Heather Morris is beyond devastated after learning that her Glee co-star, Naya Rivera has died. After officials confirmed that Naya had passed away following an incident at Lake Piru in Southern California, Heather took to Instagram to let her followers know that she needs time to grieve privately. The ladies starred on Glee together from 2009 until 2015.
(Photo credit: Heather Morris/Instagram)
“Taking a moment to honor my grief,” she wrote in a note posted on Tuesday afternoon. “Thank you for all your messages and prayers. Taking care of myself and my family comes first,” she concluded, signing her note, “Xo Heather.”
On Glee, Heather and Naya’s characters, Brittany and Santana, started out as best friends, who eventually developed romantic feelings for one another. Despite ups and downs in their relationship over the course of the show, Brittany and Santana wound up getting married during the show’s sixth and final season.
Heather was one of the first Glee stars to speak out after news broke that Naya had gone missing on July 8. She took to he Instagram story to beg fans for their prayers that Naya would return home safely. The actress had taken a boat out on Lake Piru with her four-year-old son, Josey, during the afternoon of July 8. Hours later, officials confirmed that the child was found sleeping on the boat alone, with Naya nowhere to be found.
The child told officers that his mother did not come back on the boat after going for a swim in the lake. He was found wearing a life vest, while an adult life vest was also on-board the boat. Naya shared Josey with her ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, who she wed in 2015. They split in 2016, then got back together the following year, only to break up by Dec. 2017. The pair’s divorce was finalized in June 2018, and they shared custody of their son.
Sadly, Naya is not the first star from Glee to pass away. Cory Monteith died of an accidental drug overdose in 2013, while the show was still airing. His character’s death was a subsequent storyline on the show. Mark Salling, who Naya briefly dated off-screen, was found dead from an apparent suicide by hanging in Jan. 2018, as well.