Naya Rivera’s father revealed that he advised his daughter not to leave her boat before drowning.
Actress Glee died in a drowning accident on Lake Pirou near Los Angeles, California in July 2020. Her body was found after a long five-day search after her young son Josie was found sleeping alone in a rented boat. after she failed to return it.
Speaking to People, 64-year-old George Rivera revealed that he was actually talking to Rivera the day she died when she called FaceTime to ask him for advice on a boat trip.
“She would always push things away from me,” George told the store. “And she wanted to swim with Josie in the middle of the lake.”
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George, who was renovating his home in Knoxville, Tennessee at the time, said Naya had told him the boat they had rented had no anchor, so he warned her not to jump out for a swim. Being an avid boatman himself, he knew it would be difficult for her to keep the boat at a safe distance.
“I could see the wind blowing and my stomach just shrinking,” he recalled. “I kept telling her, ‘Don’t get off the boat! Don’t get off the boat! She’ll walk away when you’re in the water.’
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George explained that the call ended after about three minutes, leaving him with a “bad feeling” for his daughter.
Unfortunately, this bad feeling will turn out to be true, as the authorities believe that Naya succumbed to exhaustion and drowned after trying to get Josie back in the boat after they surfaced.
“It’s still almost a big blur in pain almost a year later,” George concluded. “Things are slowly focusing a little more, but I don’t know if I’ll ever find a way out of it. I miss it every day.”
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Born in Santa Clarita, California, Rivera began acting at the age of four, appearing in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Family Affairs, and The Bernie Mack Show.
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The actress is best known for playing Santana Lopez in “Glee” between 2009 and 2015. Santana was a cheerleader in the musical comedy and appeared in 113 episodes of the series. Santana was one of the many LGBTQ characters in the show.