Naya Rivera y Ryan Dorsey
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Ryan Dorsey honors late Naya Rivera on her 35th birthday

The actress died in July 2020 after accidentally drowning in a lake

Ryan Dorsey took social media to honor his ex-wife Naya Rivera on her 35th birthday. The actress, known for her role as Santana Lopez on Glee, died in July 2020 after accidentally drowning in a lake.

“She knew how willing Josey was to share his things, but she’d be so proud to see how he’ll give things he loves away to friends or donate them,” the 38-year-old actor told People. Dorsey shares his 6-year-old son Josey with the late star. The pair were married from 2014 to 2018.

Ryan Dorsey y Naya©Custom

“He has this unique literal laugh-out-LOUD cackle of laugh when he’s watching TV that’s kind of obnoxiously endearing like hers was, but his even more so. No matter your mood, it would make anyone smile if you heard it,” he revealed.

“At least once a day, I find myself shaking my head, like it‘s still unbelievable, so surreal that she’s gone. She’d be freaking out today; I could almost hear her: ’OMG, I‘m almost 40!’ ” he says. “It’s hard to write this, tears coming out my eyes. Unf---ing real.”

Naya Rivera went missing after a day on the water in Lake Piru on July 8, 2020. She was spending the day with Josey when she suddenly drowned, prompting a massive search over the next few days. Her body was eventually discovered in the lake. She was 33 years old.

In an exclusive interview with People, Naya Rivera’s father, Mr. George Rivera, shared details on what happened moments before the actress went missing.

According to Mr. Rivera, Naya called him on FaceTime from the lake, seeking a piece of advice. “She would always bounce stuff off me,” he told the publication. “And she wanted to go swimming with Josey out in the middle of the lake.” The late actress also informed that the boat she rented didn’t have an anchor, which raised concern to her dad.

Mr. Rivera revealed that after about three minutes, their FaceTime call cut out. “I had this bad feeling that was just killing me,” he said.

Naya Rivera and her son, Josey©Naya Rivera

According to a press release shared by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, the actress’ son “told investigators that he and his mother had been swimming in the lake, and he got back in the boat, but Rivera did not.” Investigators believed “Rivera drowned in what appears to be a tragic accident.”

The Ventura County Medical Examiner said Naya Rivera drowned after exhausting herself helping Josey back into the boat. “We are confident the body we found is that of Naya Rivera,” Sheriff Bill Ayub said during the press conference, adding: “There is no indication of foul play and no indication this was a suicide.”

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