Like his fans, Naya Rivera was shocked by her close friend and Glee costar Cory Monteith's death from a heroin overdose at just 31. But more than three years later, she now recognizes the signs she missed before he succumbed to his addiction, the 29-year-old actress reveals in her new book, Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes and Growing Up.
After Monteith began drinking following years of sobriety at the season three wrap party, the cast noticed his strange decision, she recalls.
"He explained that he wanted to be able to drink in moderation, that he could do it and be just like everybody else," the now-married mom writes. "He seemed calm and confident about it, so we all just accepted it."
"To be honest, I don't think many of us really understood how addiction worked, nor did we fully realize the extent of his former addiction."
Rivera and her costars did not think that their "sweet, smart, talented" friend could possibly be doing heroin again.
Around this time, Monteith began dating Rivera's nemesis Lea Michele, and "he seemed like a different person," she says.
After summer break, the once built actor looked "super skinny."
"He said he'd been spending a lot of time at the gym and was trying to be responsible, not buying crazy cars like he used to," Rivera claims.
Just a few months later, she was asleep in a London hotel with then-boyfriend Big Sean when she received the horrible call that her friend had died from a sobbing production member.
"I was shocked, and made him repeat it several times before it sunk in," she remembers.
Immediately after, the cast had to film their tribute episode to Monteith. But in Rivera's opinion, it all happened too soon.
"We barely got a moment to breathe at all," she says. "Everything just happened so fast— after one take several of us were bawling and trying to pull ourselves together when someone popped their head in the room and said, 'At least you guys are acting, right? It's not like it's real life. Great job!'"
The actress is still mourning his death years later.
"I still think that Cory had so much to live for, and for me that's the worst part about his death — that is was so unnecessary," she writes. "I miss everything about him."
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