It has been almost a year since "Glee" actress Naya Rivera died and now her father, George Rivera, has provided an update on how her son, Josey, has been coping with the tragedy.
Speaking with Entertainment Tonight's Kevin Frazier, George revealed that Josey often asked about his late mother. Fortunately, the five-year-old's father, Ryan Dorsey, and Naya's younger sister, Nickayla Rivera, have been there to offer him an incredible support system.
"Nickayla and Ryan are doing a really great job," he said. "Tough situation, especially because he was there - it's not like you're talking about a ghost that's floating around, right? He's got memories as well, but boy is he coming around, right? Really strong kid."
George added that they handled, and spoke, to Josey just like he was a "five-year-old going on six."
"It's no different but when he wants to talk about his mother, we talk about his mother, in conversation. He's growing up and handling it really well," he said.
Naya was pronounced dead on July 13, five days after she was reported missing. She had taken a boat ride with Josey at California's Lake Piru when she drowned. Josey was found asleep in the boat. He told investigators that he and his mother were swimming, but his mother never got back into the boat. It later emerged that Naya died trying to get Josey back to safety after reportedly taking a swim together.
Commenting on the act of bravery, and ultimately Naya’s self-sacrifice, George said it was how his daughter lived life.
"Sort of the same mantra she used for life, you know, preservation, keep going, when things are hard you keep pushing. It just shows you the strength of the person," he shared.
Last week George opened up about the final FaceTime call he had with his daughter mere hours before her death. Naya had been on the boat when she gave him a call to ask whether or not he thought it would be safe for her and Josey to go swimming. The wind was up and the boat did not have an anchor and George immediately knew it was a bad idea and tried to discourage her.
"I could see that the wind was blowing and my stomach was just cringing," he told People. "I kept telling her, 'Don't get out of the boat! Don't get out of the boat! It will drift away when you're in the water.'"
Their call cut out after about three minutes. George never saw or spoke to his daughter again.
"It was just heartbreaking," he said. "I had this bad feeling that was just killing me."
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