Glee Creators Set Up College Fund For Naya Rivera’s 4-Year-Old Son

by : Emily Brown on :
Glee Creators Set Up College Fund For Naya Rivera's 4-Year-Old Sonnayarivera/Instagram/PA

The creators of Glee are setting up a college fund for Naya Rivera’s four-year-old son after the actor was found dead in a California lake. 

Rivera starred as Santana Lopez throughout the entirety of the musical comedy-drama series, which ran for six seasons from 2009 to 2015.


The 33-year-old actor was tragically found dead on July 13 following an extensive search of Lake Piru, where she went missing after renting a boat with her son on July 8.

View this post on Instagram

Always bringing the 🌞

A post shared by Naya Rivera (@nayarivera) on

An autopsy by the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office, cited by CNN, ruled Rivera died as a result of drowning, and police believe she used the last of her energy to help her son get back into the boat after the pair went swimming in the lake.

Following the news of Rivera’s death, the cast and crew members of Glee came together to share their love for the late actor. Photos show cast members holding hands by the side of the lake where Rivera spent her final moments, and producers Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan paid tribute to the star in a joint statement.


The statement was shared on the official 20th Century Fox Twitter account and revealed that Rivera hadn’t been cast as a series regular when Glee first began. However, the producers explained that it didn’t take long for them to realise they had found ‘one of the most talented, special stars [they] would ever have the pleasure of working with.’

Murphy, Falchuk and Brennan paid their respects to Rivera’s family, ‘especially her mum, Yolanda, who was a big part of the Glee family and her son, Josey’.


The producers announced they would continue to support Josey in his later life, writing: ‘The three of us are currently in the process of creating a college fund for the beautiful son Naya loved most of all’.

Film and TV

Police Identify Body As Missing Glee Star Naya Rivera

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Four-year-old Josey was the last person to see Rivera alive as he told police he saw her ‘disappear under the surface of the water’ at the lake. He is Rivera’s only child, whom she shared with her ex-husband and actor Ryan Dorsey.

Rivera’s love for her son was made clear in heartfelt social media posts she shared about him, including her final Instagram post which showed a close-up picture of the pair alongside the caption: ‘just the two of us.’


View this post on Instagram

just the two of us

A post shared by Naya Rivera (@nayarivera) on

The producers’ statement described Rivera as ‘a joy to be around’, adding: ‘Naya was more than just an actor on our show – she was our friend.’

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Celebrity, Glee, Naya Rivera, Ryan Murphy


CNN and 1 other
  1. CNN

    'Glee' creators are setting up a college fund for Naya Rivera's 4-year-old son

  2. 20th Century Fox/Twitter