Naya Rivera’s ex-boyfriend, actor Tahj Mowry, has opened up about his relationship with the late star and the sadness he feels for his family almost a year after her death.
The 34-year-old actor and the “Glee” star were a fixture in 2000 after meeting on the set of the ’90s sitcom “Smart Guy,” according to Entertainment Tonight. After reuniting, they stayed together for four years before their lives and careers took different paths.
Speaking to Glamor, Mowry noted that Rivera wasn’t just her first celebrity crush, she was her “first everything.” However, he was extremely careful not to speak disrespectfully about the late actress as he still has a relationship with her family.
“It’s easy for me. Naya Rivera. She passed away recently, which was really, really difficult. I have so much respect for his family. I’m still in communication with them, so I just want to make sure I respect that and what his family is going through, ”he told the outlet.
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Mowry continued, “She was definitely my first everything. I subconsciously think that’s why I never really go out like this because nobody really ever… I know someday someone might do it, but it’s hard to measure up to the type of girl and to woman that she was. “
Rivera died accidentally by drowning at Lake Piru, near Los Angeles, California, in July 2020. Her body was discovered following an extensive five-day search after her son was found sleeping alone in the boat that they rented after she didn’t return it.
His comments on Glamor echo those he made earlier in a social media post dedicated to Rivera. At the time, Mowry was one of many celebrities who took to social media to pay tribute to the late star after her disappearance.
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” We grew up together. We became adults together. We have had so many firsts together. You were my first experience with everything; love, intimacy, sorrow. We broke our hearts and then we fixed them together… more than once, ”he wrote at the time. “I’ll never think of you. No woman has ever measured what you gave me or how you made me feel. I never liked to admit it but I never stopped loving you. A part of me has always wished for the day when God would bring us back together to be what we dreamed we could have been. “
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The post was mentioned in the Glamor article, prompting the star to note once again that he feels weird talking about what his death meant to him given what his family is going through right now.
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“It’s a difficult thing to say, because to think of her mother and her ex-husband and her child and her sister and her brother… the height of what they have lived is a thousand times over”, a he concluded. “I almost feel like I can’t even talk about my feelings because they aren’t even up to the pain they’ve been through and are still going through. But yes, a lot of love to all her family – her brother, sister, child and her ex-husband too. “