Entertainment

The Ex-Husband Of Naya Rivera Has Filed A Wrongful Death Lawsuit On Their Son’s Behalf

Updated November18, 2020.

Nearly five months have passed since authorities confirmed the death of “Glee” star Naya Rivera. The actress passed away in a tragic drowning accident wherein authorities determined she died fighting to save the life of her own 4-year-old son Josey after they’d been swimming at Lake Piru in Ventura County, California. Various fans, friends, and members of the “Glee” cast have publicly mourned her death as a result.

Speaking about her death, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub explained during a News Conference that Rivera’s son described being helped into the boat by Naya, who boosted him onto the deck from behind. He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water.”

“There are a lot of currents on the lake that appear particularly in the afternoon,” he added. “We believe it was midafternoon when she disappeared. The idea perhaps being that the boat started drifting, it was unanchored, and that she mustered enough energy to get her son back into the boat, but not enough to save herself.”

Now, Rivera’s ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit on their 5-year-old son Josey’s behalf.

The court documents, which were filed on Tuesday, obtained by People show that Josey is suing Ventura County, California. This is the location where Rivera met her death while accidentally drowned during a boating trip with her son at Lake Piru in July. The county’s Parks and Recreation Management, and the United Water Conservation District are being involved in the lawsuit for “wrongful death” and “negligent infliction of emotional distress.”

The lawsuit claims that Rivera’s death was preventable. It also makes an accusation that states the boat Rivera and Josey rented from Lake Piru failed to comply with U.S. Coast Guard safety standards.

“[The boat] was not equipped with a safely accessible ladder, adequate rope, an anchor, a radio or any security mechanisms to prevent swimmers from being separated from their boats,” the complaint states. “Disturbingly, later inspection revealed that the boat was not even equipped with any flotation or lifesaving devices, in direct violation of California law, which requires that all pontoons longer than 16 feet be equipped with flotation devices.”

Heartbreaking details of Rivera’s were released two months after her death by the Ventura County Medical Examiner.

According to the investigative report, Rivera’s 4-year-old son Josey said that before her disappearance they had counted to three and jumped off of the pontoon boat they were using at Lake Piru in Ventura County, California together. Josey said that soon after getting into the water his mother told him to get back on the boat.

“She helped him onto the boat and then he then heard [Naya] yell ‘help’ and she put her arm in the air. She then disappeared into the water,” states the investigative report.

According to People, “Officials also noted in the investigative report that while Rivera was in good health, she had a history of vertigo ‘that would get worse when she was in the water.'”

Rivera’s body was buried in July at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles.

According to BuzzFeed, Twenty-five people, including some of Rivera’s “Glee” cast members, attended a small service to say ‘goodbye.’

Soon after her disappearance and recovery, Rivera’s family put out a statement but the star’s younger sister Nickayla Rivera had yet to speak out.

In a post to her Instagram page, the 25-year-old model shared a heartbreaking tribute to her sister writing “there are no words.”

In an image shared to her Instagram page, Nickayla showed a black and white image of her giving Naya a kiss on the cheek. It’s the first public social media post shared by Nickayla since her sister went missing on July 8.

“Sister,⁣ There are no words to describe my love for you,” she wrote. “Side by side or miles apart, our connection is infinite. Our bond is unbreakable. We were complete opposites, yet simultaneously the same. The yin to my yang. I never knew that by losing you, I would find so much of you in myself.”

“I’ve never known a life without you in it & still can’t imagine it. My world is turned upside down. But through it all, everything we were, we are still,” she continued. “I’ll always look at you with the same eyes as I did when I was young. ⁣My shmaya, I’ll love you for eternity & miss you every second of my life.”

Tributes to Naya have not waned in recent weeks.

On Saturday, Rivera’s ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, also shared an emotional message about her death on Instagram calling it “unfair.”

View this post on Instagram

This is so unfair…there's not enough words to express the hole left in everyone's hearts. I can't believe this is life now. I don't know if I'll ever believe it. You were just here… We were just in the back swimming with Josey the day before. Life just isn't fair. I don't know what to say…I'm thankful for our times and our journey that brought us together and gave us the sweetest and kindest smart little boy we could ever hope for. I remember sometimes you used to get annoyed at me: "Ryan can you stop snap chatting!" Haha. I'm glad I didn't listen to you because I have hundreds and probably thousands of snaps and videos that Josey will have forever and know his momma loved him more than life, and how much fun we had together as he was growing up. Life is all about good times and bad times but with Josey it makes the bad a little less so because a part of you will always be with us. He'll never forget where he came from. We miss you. We will always love you. Love you Meep. 🖤💔🖤 ♥️ To everyone that reached out and I haven't had a chance to or just didn't get back to you…thank you all for the overwhelming love and support you've sent our way. I'll just say in closing, be kind to yourself, be kind to others, forgive…forget…don't hold grudges….if you have nothing nice to say maybe try not to say anything. There's peace in silence. Time on Earth is precious and you just never know….you never know what could happen. Hold your loved ones close, and cherish the times you have with those you care about. ♥️

A post shared by dorseyryan (@dorseyryan) on

“This is so unfair… there’s not enough words to express the hole left in everyone’s hearts,” he captioned a photo of Naya Rivera holding their son. “I can’t believe this is life now. I don’t know if I’ll ever believe it. You were just here… We were just in the back swimming with Josey the day before. Life just isn’t fair.”

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The Cast of ‘Glee’ Along With Demi Lovato Paid Tribute to Naya Rivera At the GLAAD Awards

Entertainment

The Cast of ‘Glee’ Along With Demi Lovato Paid Tribute to Naya Rivera At the GLAAD Awards

Photo via Getty

On Thursday, the cast of “Glee” paid tribute to Naya Rivera at the GLAAD Media Awards. Rivera was a once-in-a-lifetime talent the touched so many lives personally and through the screen while she was alive. But perhaps none of Naya’s roles were as impactful as Santana Lopez was.

This year, GLAAD decided to take time to honor the impact Naya Rivera had on LGBTQ representation onscreen.

During a time when LGBTQ represenation onscreen was rare, Santana Lopez was groundbreaking for being both queer and Latina. Santana went from a shut-off closeted cheerleader to an out-and-proud lesbian woman. This was a story arc many queer kids had never seen before.

Demi Lovato introduced the cast of “Glee” with a touching speech. She described how honored she was (and still is) to have played Santana’s girlfriend, Dani, on the show.

“I don’t have to tell you that this year was a tough, tough year,” Lovato said. “A particular moment of heartbreak stands out for me: losing my friend Naya Rivera. I will always cherish the chance I got to play Naya’s girlfriend, Dani, on ‘Glee.’”

“The character Naya played, Santana Lopez, was groundbreaking for closeted queer girls — like I was at the time,” she went on. “And her ambition and accomplishments inspired Latina women all over the world.”

Then, dozens of former “Glee” cast members gathered via Zoom to pay tribute to Naya Rivera.

The tribute featured former “Glee” actors like Darren Criss, Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley, Heather Morris, Harry Shum Jr., Jenna Ushkowitz, Chris Colfer, and Kevin McHale. There were also many others.

“Naya would be honored to receive this recognition,” read the statement. “When Naya was told that Santana would be a lesbian she called me to let me know and I asked her how did she feel about that and she said ‘I feel great about it!'”

“This year marks the tenth anniversary that Naya’s character, Santana Lopez, came out on ‘Glee’,” said Dot-Marie Jones, who played Coach Beast on the Fox series.

“Santana basically got disowned by her family. And as alot of us know, that’s a feeling too many LGBTQ kids know too well,” continued Chris Colfer, who played Kurt Hummel.

The loving tribute then ended with a written statement from Naya Rivera’s mother Yolanda Previtire, who couldn’t make it to the call.

“Little did we know that she would impact so many people in the LGBTQ community. Her desire was to always be an advocate to those who did not have a voice.

“She continued: “I don’t believe that she realized how important she was to this world. I am grateful that my eldest daughter helped to change the landscape of how we view and see each other.”

“Her desire was to always be an advocate to those who did not have a voice,” the message read, in part. “I don’t believe that she realized how important she was to this world. I am grateful that my eldest daughter helped to change the landscape of how we view and see each other.”

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Naya Rivera’s Dad Says ‘Glee’ Showrunner Ryan Murphy Lied About Setting Up a College Fund for Her Son, Josey

Entertainment

Naya Rivera’s Dad Says ‘Glee’ Showrunner Ryan Murphy Lied About Setting Up a College Fund for Her Son, Josey

Photos via Getty Images

Months after Naya Rivera’s untimely passing, her family is still struggling to cope with the aftermath of her death. Although there was an outpouring of well-wishes and condolences after Rivera’s tragic drowning, many people have unfortunately moved on. But Rivera’s family is still coping.

On Tuesday, Naya Rivera’s father, George Rivera, slammed “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy for making “broken promises” to Rivera’s son, Josey.

Last July, Murphy pledged to set up a college fund for Josey. In a statement, Murphy said: ““Our hearts go out to her family, especially her mom, Yolanda, who was a big part of the Glee family, and her son Josey. The three of us are currently in the process of creating a college fund for the beautiful son Naya loved most of all.”

But since then, George Rivera has vented his frustration at the media mogul via Twitter. In response to a July, 2020 tweet that praised Ryan Murphy for his generosity, George Rivera wrote: “Everyone needs to know what Ryan Murphy really did … or didn’t do !!! I’m about to blow up this story …. and make sure he’s knows that I know ….”

In subsequent tweets, George Rivera accused Ryan Murphy both of faking his grief over Naya’s death and lying about setting up a college fund for Josey.

“When you are part of the Hollywood elite, some people treat others as they are “less than” …. vocalize a good game , but it’s as shallow as the sets on stage , that they create,” Rivera wrote. “Promises made in public, only to fade with time and excuses …. even in a unexplainable tragedy …”

Soon enough, fans of Naya Rivera began to engage with George Rivera, asking him to disclose what happened behind the scenes. One zealous fan wrote “Let it out, G. Let it out,” to which Rivera responded, “Broken Promises….. fake outrage …. hollow gestures ….. no phone call.”

George Rivera’s accusations against Ryan Murphy shocked many fans who had thought that her son would be taken care of by the ultra-successful producer.

Looking for clarification, one fan asked, “Did they never open the trust fund for josey? omg,” to which George responded, “Hahaaaa.” His response the initial veiled accusation.

In response to George’s accusations, many “Glee” fans rallied around the grieving father. “If you have anything else please do share,” wrote one Naya Rivera fan account. “We’re going to listen and make sure you have the platform to share whatever that awful man said and did to you and your family, we’re with you.”

Ryan Murphy quickly took to Twitter to address the allegations and defend himself–albeit vaguely.

“Myself, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan have committed to create a college fund for Naya Rivera’s child Josey through the Naya Rivera Estate Trust,” Murphy wrote. “We have been in repeated conversations with the appropriate executors of her estate.”

Based on Murphy’s use of the word “committed”, it does, indeed, sound like he hasn’t actually started the fund yet. We hope he keeps his promise and starts that very soon.

Regardless, we’re glad that George Rivera was brave enough to call out Hollywood power players that were letting his family down.

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