13:14, July 17 141 0 usmagazine.com

2020-07-17 13:14:03


Heather Morris Says Late Costar Naya Rivera Is 'Still Here' With Her

“Brittana” forever. Heather Morris is dedicating her time to keeping Naya Rivera‘s vibrant presence alive after the Glee star’s tragic death.

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“The messages are going to trickle out. But you’re still here with me. And I’m not done remembering your legacy,” Morris, 33, wrote in an emotional Instagram tribute on Friday, July 17. Four days earlier, Rivera was pronounced dead after a boating accident on Lake Piru in California. She was 33 years old.

Naya Rivera and Heather Morris at Golden Globe Awards 2011 Heather Morris Isnt Done Honoring Glee Costar Naya Rivera's Legacy
Naya Rivera and Heather Morris attend the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles on January 16, 2011. VF/AFF-USA.com/MEGA

Morris and Rivera had a strong bond while working together on the popular Fox musical drama from 2009 to 2015, and remained close friends in the years after Glee went off the air. As she continues to take “a moment to honor [her] grief,” Morris has been sharing photos from her time spent with Rivera and opening up about her favorite memories with the Step Up: High Water star.

“You would tell me ‘you look so skinny’ EVERY TIME you saw me and it made me giggle slash I loved it and when I told you how it made me feel…you said, ‘well I’d always like to hear that I look skinny so I make sure to make others feel good like that,'” the dancer continued. “We had a play date in the works for this week and I can’t wait for it to be over so I can stop thinking about how I missed our chance to be together. I f–king loved how you drank martini’s and no one would know you smoked cuz you were a mastermind at hiding it. I’m doing something every day to honor your strength and it helps me to feel close to you. I love you Nay.”

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Rivera’s body was recovered from the lake less than one week after the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department reported her missing. An autopsy later revealed that the actress’ death showed evidence “consistent with a drowning” and that “no traumatic injuries or disease processes were identified.” Authorities also reported that there were no signs of foul play or suicide when Rivera was found.

Hours before the Sorry Not Sorry author was confirmed dead, Morris was one of several former Glee stars to gather at the shore of the lake and share a moment of prayer for Rivera’s safe return. Captain Eric Buschow, spokesperson for the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, later told Us Weekly that Rivera’s body was recovered during the cast’s prayer.

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“I don’t know who is who in the cast, but there were 12 to 15 people,” he said. “They were down there by the edge of the lake and prayed for about a half hour. … As they were praying, we got a call that the body was discovered on the surface of the lake. We didn’t tell them because anytime we — in the case of a death, we don’t want people to find out from other sources or from the media. We want the family to be notified officially. We don’t want them to learn about it on the news.”

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