Naya Rivera’s Ex Ryan Dorsey Speaks About Their Son, Her Sister


Muddling through. Ryan Dorsey opened up about how he and his son, Josey, are doing two months after his ex-wife, Naya Rivera, died in a drowning accident.

“I can’t believe that this is real life and I’m about to address any of this nonsense,” the Ryan Donovan star, 37, started off his Instagram video message on Tuesday, September 29, referencing negative comments his family has received since Rivera’s death in July. “It’s truly sad that this is the world that we live in, where people were raised to think it’s OK to just spew hatred in general.”

Dorsey, who was photographed with Rivera’s sister, Nickayla Rivera, on September 6, continued: “Especially when you make statements about a family who are dealing with a tragedy that I hope is so unimaginable that you or anyone that is close to you never has to go through.”

The Justified alum, who shares 5-year-old son Josey with the late Glee actress, detailed what it’s been like adjusting to being a single parent as they grieve together.

“I probably lost a little over 20 pounds. I don’t get good sleep. I’m sad every day,” the actor explained. “I wake up, I go to sleep sad every night, staring at the ceiling. I’m staring at the wall and I think to myself, how lucky I am to, to still have my mom and to have her help out in my life still. And then I think about how he won’t have that same opportunity in his future.”

Naya Rivera's Ex-Husband Ryan Dorsey Speaks Out About Grief, Son, Her Sister
Ryan Dorsey and Naya Rivera at the March of Dimes Celebration of Babies in L.A. on December 4, 2015. Matt Baron/Shutterstock

The West Virginia native, who was married to the Step Up: High Water star from 2014 to 2018, recalled the “longest days” of his life when Rivera went missing on July 8, after going out on a boat with their son earlier in the afternoon. Five days later, the actress’ body was recovered, which left Dorsey with more questions than answers to tell the couple’s child.

“You know the result of the search. You know what that result is going to be when it ends and the conversation that you’re going to have to have with him, it’s sad,” he explained. “And when the young boy says, ‘Oh, do you think that we’ll find her? I just want them to find her.’ And that, you know that he’s so smart. Um, and you know he witnessed a nightmare right before his eyes and he knows that even if they find her, she’s not coming home. It’s sad.”

Thankfully, the father-son duo have family to lean on for support throughout the tragedy. That hasn’t however lessened the toll it’s taken on Dorsey regarding the heartbreaking conversations he’s had with Josey.

“I mean, man, saying that this is sad is the understatement of my life,” the Blood Father actor said. “And then I have to tell him, ‘Oh, she’s an angel now. And she’s with God and she’s in heaven.’ And he says, ‘Well, I want to go there. How do I get there?’ I wouldn’t wish that upon any of your ears to have to hear that, hear those words come out of the sweetest soul you know.”

Dorsey’s Instagram video came one day after photographs were published of his former sister-in-law Nickayla helping him move out of his L.A. house earlier this month. The photos sparked speculation that the pair were living together, which the actor addressed in his candid video.

“Then he asked me if Titi can live with us. ‘I want Titi to live with us forever’ because she’s now the closest thing that he has to a mom,” Dorsey continued, referencing Naya’s sister. “Because you’re gonna need all the help you can get as a single parent trying to build your career and navigate this disaster with your child. And, um, you deal with it every hour of every day for 80 plus days now.”

The Pitch alum explained that the 25-year-old model has been someone he can turn to for support.

“And to have to let him get what he wants, you know, what he asks for and what he needs right now, which is his family. Even though if you know it’s temporary and it’s not forever. It’s a temporary situation and after all that he’s had to go through, how could you deny him that?” he said.

“I hope you would be lucky enough, I hope you would be as lucky as me to have family on both sides who support and who have helped out tremendously and to have a young woman who is his blood as Titi who is willing to put her life on hold and sacrifice things, uproot her situation for the betterment of your child,” Dorsey continued. “So when you put your child to bed, you don’t always have to be alone with your thoughts and you don’t have to be sad every day and night wondering when does it get better?”

Having Nickayla means both Dorsey and Josey aren’t as lonesome. “At least you have someone there with you to talk to or just sit in silence and be sad with. You don’t have to deal with it completely alone,” he said.

Dorsey concluded: “Be well, be safe, try to be kind. And if this does nothing, but um, make a few people think twice before they go and insert their opinion and jump to conclusions and then think about sending people DM’s wishing death upon strangers who are dealing with so much that they know absolutely zero about, then I’m glad I got this off my heart and off my mind.”

Nickayla, for her part, addressed the photos of the pair moving from one residence to the other on her Instagram Story on Monday, September 28.

“In the darkest time of my life, the only thing that is important is my friends & family. Showing up for my nephew, even though I can’t show up for myself,” Nickayla wrote. “Im not concerned with the way things look because no one can see each agonizing moment we all endure. What matters most I’ve learned, is to show compassion, not to judge others, & never take a moment of life for granted. I hope you all can do the same.”

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