Naya Rivera's Ex-Husband Ryan Dorsey Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Four Months After Her Tragic Passing

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Naya Rivera
Entertainment And News

Four months after Glee actress Naya Rivera's tragic death, her ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their son, Josey.

The paperwork was reportedly submitted on Tuesday, Nov. 17, and according to the documents, Dorsey is suing Ventura County, Calif. as well as the United Water Conservation District and the county’s Parks and Recreation Management.

The complaint filed by Dorsey claims that Rivera's death was preventable, and the boat that Rivera took out on the lake was not equipped with the proper safety equipment.

Was Naya Rivera's death an accident?

Read on for all the details about the Glee star's tragic passing, as well as details about Dorsey's wrongful death lawsuit.

Authorities confirmed they had found Naya Rivera's body on July 13.

During a somber press conference, the Ventura County Sheriff’s office confirmed that they had found and recovered what they believe to be the body of Glee actress Naya Rivera six days after she was reported missing after taking a boat out in Lake Piru with her son, Josey, who was 4 years old at the time.

She was 33 years old. 

RELATED: Naya Rivera Missing And Presumed Dead — Sad Details & Theories About What Happened

"We are confident the body we found is that of Naya Rivera. It has been an extremely difficult time for her family throughout this ordeal. Our hearts are with them and we share in their grief for Naya’s loss," Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said.

Days of searching and mystery as to where Naya was led to speculation and theories online about the manner of Naya's death as fans wondered whether the actress committed suicide, left on purpose, or if her death was truly a drowning accident.

Fans reacted to the heartbreaking news on social media and shared the ways in which Naya made a difference in their lives.

“Thank you to naya rivera for being the first female poc who struggles with sexuality that I ever saw on screen. I am beyond heartbroken on the news due to the fact that she literally changed my life and gave me hope as a young poc closeted lesbian. Rest in peace angel,” one fan wrote in a heartfelt tweet. 

Naya’s Glee co-stars also reacted to the devastating news. Jane Lynch, who played the role of Sue Sylvester in the musical series, wrote, “Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.” 

Many former members of the Glee cast were also photographed in Lake Piru, holding hands in solidarity and looking out towards the water.

The tragic news comes on the seven-year anniversary of Cory Monteith’s death.

Fans have speculated that Naya Rivera's death was a suicide.

When news about Naya’s disappearance broke late on July 8, fans began to speculate that it was not accidental.

One Twitter user posted their theory about the actress’s last Instagram post, which was of herself and her 4-year-old son Josey, and the connection between the caption and lyrics from an Eminem song about a mother’s drowning. The caption read, “Just the two of us.”

RELATED: Is There A Glee Curse? All The Tragic Early Deaths That Plagued Cast In Wake Of Naya Rivera Death Rumors

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However, other Twitter users were quick to point out that her Instagram caption is a common phrase and appears in many different songs, and likely did not allude to any clues about her mysterious death. 

While Naya revealed her past struggle with an eating disorder and opened up about the difficult decision to have an abortion in her 2016 memoir, Sorry Not Sorry, there was no indication that Rivera struggled with depression and/or thoughts of suicide at the time of her disappearance. 

Authorities ruled Naya Rivera's death an accident.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s office believes that Naya Rivera’s death was the result of an accidental drowning.

An autopsy is currently pending; however, the Ventura County Sheriff's office believes there was no evidence of foul play, and there are no indications as of this time that Naya's death was by suicide. 

Ventura County Sheriff’s Captain Eric Buschow said that while they tried to get as much information from her 4-year-old son as they could, it was difficult to do so.

He reportedly told authorities that they went swimming, but Naya did not get back on the boat when he did.

He was found with a life vest on, while an adult life vest — presumably Naya’s — was found on the boat. 

Who is the father of Naya’s son?

Actor Ryan Dorsey is the father of Josey Hollis Dorsey, who was found alone on the boat by another boater hours after Naya went missing.

Dorsey and Rivera were married from 2014 - 2018, and Rivera gave birth to their son in September of 2015.

Although Ryan and Naya were divorced, the former couple were dedicated to co-parenting Josey, and Ryan often posted pictures of their family unit on Instagram. 

On Nov. 17, Dorsey filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of Josey.

“[The boat] was not equipped with a safely accessible ladder, adequate rope, an anchor, a radio or any security mechanisms to prevent swimmers from being separated from their boats,” the court documents allege.

“Disturbingly, later inspection revealed that the boat was not even equipped with any flotation or lifesaving devices, in direct violation of California law, which requires that all pontoons longer than 16 feet be equipped with flotation devices," the court docs continue.

Ventura County spokeswoman Ashley Bautista was not able to comment on the filing, as they have yet to be served with the official complaint.

Our deepest condolences go out to the family, friends, and loved ones of Naya Rivera. May she rest in peace. 

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Olivia Jakiel is an editor and writer who covers celebrity and entertainment news. Follow her on Instagram and keep up with her zingers on Twitter.