After news of Glee star Naya Rivera’s death broke on Monday, July 13, actress Kristin Chenoweth took to social media to pay tribute the the 33-year-old.
Kristin, who played April Rhodes on Glee, broke down in tears when talking about the cast, which she calls her “babies,” and the loss of “sweet, sweet” Naya.
“A long time ago I was invited to be a guest star on a show called Glee,” Chenoweth said in video shared by Pop Crave. “I had the honor of meeting all my babies, those kids, who still make me proud and I want them to know I still love them and I’m proud of them.”
“And with Naya gone, I know how that hurts them. She was such a sweet, sweet child,” she continued, “My friend John Sawyer passed away on Mother’s day, my longest and oldest friend and I thought maybe John was up in heaven with her preparing the way. I just want to tell you all not to lose hope. It’s going to be okay. If you need to have a big cry like I’m doing right now then do it, do it.”
Kristin Chenoweth shares emotional tribute to Naya Rivera. 🙏pic.twitter.com/1opDZdcgw6
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) July 15, 2020
On Wednesday (July 8,) Rivera, who played the role of tough girl Santana Lopez on Glee, was reported missing after an boating outing with her son Josey Dorsey on Lake Piru in California. The actress rented a boat for a few hours on the lake. When the boat was not returned, that marina crew went out looking for the pontoon boat and found Naya’s 4-year-old son alone on the boat in his lifejacket. The actress was no where to be found.
During a press conference on Monday, July 13 shortly after news broke that a body was found in the lake, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub revealed that the body was Rivera’s.
“Today our search teams have recovered a body in the lake,” the Sheriff said. “Based on the location where the body was found, physical characteristics of the body, clothing found on the body and the physical condition of the body as well as the absence of any other persons missing in the area, we are confident the body we found is that of Naya Rivera.”
He continued, “She was found in the North Eastern portion of the lake near the surface of the water. The depth of the water in that area is between 35 and 60 ft deep and there is heavy brush and trees on the lake bed there.”
The following day (July 14), the Ventura County Medical Examiner confirmed the body’s identity and determined her cause of death was a drowning and ruled it an accident.
Our thoughts remain with Naya’s family and friends at this time.