Glee star Naya Rivera is missing and presumed dead from accidental drowning after she disappeared from a rented boat on a Southern California lake on July 8, 2020, according to The Washington Post.
“We’re presuming that an accident happened. We’re presuming that she drowned in the lake.” The 33-year-old actress, who rose to stardom in the role of cheerleader Santana Lopez, was with her 4-year-old son Josey Hollis Dorsey before her disappearance.
The Post reported that the child was alone and asleep when another boat found him, and an adult life jacket was on the pontoon. Josey told police he and his mom had been swimming in the water together but she never got back to the boat.
Naya Rivera shared her son with her ex-husband, actor Ryan Dorsey. People reported the couple finalized their divorce in June 2018 after nearly four years of marriage. Rivera and Dorsey first met when Dorsey moved to Los Angeles in 2010.
They dated briefly while she was on Glee, but she ended the relationship to focus on her acting career. A few weeks after their split, Naya Rivera learned she was pregnant with Dorsey’s child and decided to terminate the pregnancy.
She opened up about that choice for the first time in her 2016 tell-all memoir, Sorry Not Sorry. Rivera wrote in the book, “When I made that decision, I made it by myself, as I feel is the case for a lot of women, and I did not share it with Ryan at the time.”
She eventually told Dorsey about her abortion when they got back together a few years later. “I put in the book, like, verbatim, what he said, and I think it was the kindest and nicest and best thing that any man could have ever said in that situation.”
In the interim, Rivera dated her Glee co-star Mark Salling for three years before beginning a whirlwind romance with rapper Big Sean in April 2013. The two got engaged that October before calling it quits in 2014. Rivera and Dorsey reconnected soon after her split from Big Sean, and three short months later, the two got married in a surprise ceremony in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in front of a small group of family members.
The couple told People in a statement at the time, “We feel truly blessed to be joined as husband and wife. Our special day was fated and everything we could have ever asked for.” Rivera also opened up about her reconciliation with Dorsey in her memoir, writing, “By the time we sort of reconnected, I was like, ‘Gosh, there’s a reason why you keep coming back in my life and we keep coming back together.'” A little over a year later, the actress announced they were expecting a baby.
She gave birth to the couple’s son Josey in September 2015, In Touch Weekly reported. Unfortunately, Rivera and Dorsey’s relationship later took a turn for the worse. In November 2016, just two years after tying the knot, Rivera filed for divorce from Dorsey.
The couple released a joint statement to People at the time, writing, “After much consideration, we have made the decision to end our marriage. Our priority is and always will be our beautiful son that we share together. We will continue to be great co-parenting partners for him. We ask for respect and privacy for our family during this difficult time.”
However, one year later, The Blast reported that Rivera filed a request to dismiss the divorce paperwork with sources telling E! News, “They want to make it work for the sake of their son.” The pair’s ups and downs continued after Rivera was arrested and charged with misdemeanor domestic battery in 2017. Dorsey claimed she hit him in the head and face during an altercation, per E! News.
She was later released on bail by her father-in-law and the charges were dismissed in January 2018. One month after their alleged fight, Rivera refiled for divorce from Dorsey and the two agreed to share joint custody of their child. They finalized their divorce in June 2018.