Naya Rivera's Dad Shares 'Heartbreaking' Details Of Advice He Gave His Daughter Moments Before Her Death

Just devastating.

Naya Rivera GIO_LE / Shutterstock

Naya Rivera's father, George Rivera, has come forward to share the details of his final FaceTime call with his daughter, which took place just before her tragic drowning.

On July 8, 2020, "Glee" actress Naya Rivera died in a boating incident in California while out on a lake with her son Josey, now 5.

Almost a year later, Rivera's father has revealed that Naya called him before her death, asking for pontoon boating advice.


What did Naya Rivera and her father say to each other during their FaceTime call just before she died?

Rivera said, "she would always bounce stuff off me ... And she wanted to go swimming with Josey out in the middle of the lake."

Rivera says he strongly urged his daughter against swimming in the middle of the lake because the boat she rented could not be anchored.

"I could see that the wind was blowing and my stomach was just cringing," Rivera remembered. "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.'"

Just a few minutes later the call cut out. Rivera said he "had this bad feeling that was just killing me."


He continued, "It was just heartbreaking."

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Only hours after this call, Rivera's son Josey was discovered alone on the boat rented by Naya. Rivera's body was found five days after, in a remote area of the lake by rescue divers of Ventura county.


Most of Rivera's family was on the scene during the search. The search was rigorous and left everyone hoping for anything but the outcome that occurred.

"It’s still pretty much a big blur of pain almost a year later," her father said. "Things are slowly coming a little more into focus, but I don’t know if I’ll ever find closure from this. I miss her every day."

The Ventura County Medical examiner found that Rivera had drowned after trying to get Josey back onto the boat after swimming.

RELATED: 31 Naya Rivera Quotes On Life, Love, & Being Proud To Be Yourself

Sadly, Naya's death left Josey without a mother, but he has no "shortage of love."


Josey's father, Ryan Dorsey, says that he'll remain keeping a low profile while he prioritizes his son. Dorsey has been working on his show "Big Sky" in the meantime.

Sources say it's been nice for him to occupy himself over the past year. The rest of Rivera's family has also been taking care of Josey, namely her sister Nickayla.

Dorsey often shares photos of his son and Rivera on Instagram in memoriam.

In April, the cast of "Glee" honored Naya's character, Santana Lopez, at the GLAAD Media Awards for her impact on the LGBTQ+ community.


Demi Lovato, who played Santana's girlfriend on the series, reflected on Naya's role, saying, "The character Naya played, Santana Lopez, was groundbreaking for closeted queer girls like I was at the time. And her ambition and accomplishments inspire Latina women all over the world."

"That's the power of a show like Glee," she added.

RELATED: 'Glee' Curse Death Theory: Naya Rivera, Cory Monteith, & Mark Salling Sang About Their Deaths Before They Happened


Kat Mackay is a writer who covers entertainment and good news