Is Glee Cursed? The Show’s Deaths, Tragedies & Controversies

glee cursed

Getty Is Glee cursed?

The presumed death of Glee actress Naya Rivera, who was reported missing after swimming in Lake Piru, is renewing chatter on social media that the show is “cursed.”

Robert Kovacik, a reporter for NBC LA, reported on July 7: “#BREAKING: @Actress @NayaRivera is presumed dead, per @VENTURASHERIFF. The actress/singer and her four year old son were on a rented pontoon boat on #LakePiru and were swimming. The son got back on the boat, his mom did not. He was wearing a life-vest, she was not.”

“I was telling my husband the other day that it’s like the show is cursed (I’ve been rewatching it this past week),” wrote one fan on Facebook. “This is so upsetting to me.” Another fan wrote simply, “I swear Glee was cursed.”

It’s but the latest tragedy to strike the cast of the popular show. Here’s a round up of the show’s deaths, controversies, and tragedies:


Naya Rivera Rented a Boat With Her Son & Then Disappeared Into the Water

View this post on Instagram

just the two of us

A post shared by Naya Rivera (@nayarivera) on

“Hapening now: Search for possible drowning victim at Lake Piru. @VCAirUnit @fillmoresheriff on scene. SAR Dive Team and PIO on the way,” the Ventura County Sheriff wrote on Twitter on the evening of July 9, 2020. Fox LA Reporter Elex Michaelson wrote on Twitter, “#BREAKING @FOXLA has learned GLEE star @NayaRivera is missing in Lake Piru. She and her 4 year old son rented a boat this afternoon. 3 hours later, someone discovered the boat with the child asleep. The boy says his mom was swimming but couldn’t make it back on board.”

Rivera’s final post on Instagram is a moving picture with her son, Josey.

“Just the two of us,” Rivera wrote in the Instagram caption with the photo, which showed her cuddling with her son. You can see that post above, which was liked more than 100,000 times.

Three days before she disappeared, she posted this picture and wrote, “at this point we just vibin y’all.”

View this post on Instagram

at this point we just vibin y'all

A post shared by Naya Rivera (@nayarivera) on

Rivera was married for four years to television actor Ryan Dorsey.

Rivera’s marriage to Dorsey was a troubled one; she was once accused of domestic battery against him. She was accused of hitting him, according to ABC News. However, the four-year union, which ended in divorce, did produce their son.

The couple’s son was 2 years old at the time they divorced. His name is Josey Hollis Dorsey.


Cory Monteith Died of a Drug Overdose

GettyActor Cory Monteith arrives at the 12th Annual Chrysalis Butterfly Ball on June 8, 2013, in Los Angeles, California.

In 2013, actor Cory Monteith was found dead in a Canadian hotel room. He’d battled substance abuse, and the cause of death was “mixed drug toxicity, involving heroin and alcohol,” according to EOnline.

His mother, Ann McGregor, spoke about Monteith’s death to People magazine, explaining that she took her son to rehab at ages 15 and 19.

“He tried to keep everything from me, because he loved me and wanted to protect me,” she told People. “He was just always so curious. And the darker world just drew him in.”

He began using drugs again, she said, after landing a role on Glee. “He wasn’t ready for the Hollywood world,” his mother said. “Drugs were his way of checking out.”


Mark Salling Faced Criminal Charges Before His Suicide

mark salling

GettyMark Salling.

Mark Salling was accused of possession of child pornography. “He pleaded guilty to the crime in October 2017. His January 30, 2018, suicide took place six weeks before he was due to be sentenced,” The Chronicle reported.

He was found hanging from a tree, according to Radar Online. He had been watching television with his family before committing suicide, and he had ingested alcohol before his death, the site reported.

“The body was found kneeling on the ground” near a tree and “he had a small cut with dried blood on his right forehead,” Radar Online reported. “A nylon rope was wrapped five times around his neck in an upward position.”


Nancy Motes Committed Suicide

Nancy Motes, the sister of star Julia Roberts, committed suicide, and she left behind a note that mentioned Julia. “There were three pages of rantings that her sister drove her to do this. There was one page to her mom, telling her how much she loved her, and one page apologizing to (her fiancé John Dilbeck),” a source told The New York Daily News.

She was found dead in a bathtub at age 37. She once tweeted of Julia, “So my ‘sister’ said that with all her friends & fans she doesn’t need any more love. Just so you all know ‘America’s Sweetheart’ is a B—-!!'”

She was a production assistant on Glee, according to Daily Mail.


Jim Fuller Died Unexpectedly in His Sleep

According to Daily Mail, Glee assistant director Jim Fuller “passed away in his sleep, a suspected heart failure.”

He was only 41 years old and had worked on the show since it started, reported The Mirror, which added that “In one episode in Season 4, when Emma and Schue are creating their wedding seat chat, the name ‘Jim Fuller’ is written in one of the seats in a subtle shout-out to the long-term crew member.”

Cristina Lageman, another Glee production assistant, told Daily Mail: “They did a special tribute for Cory and Jim, I’d expect the same for Nancy. I went to Jim’s funeral and it was very far away so only a few went from Glee, but we had a memorial for him at a place in Venice where he loved to go to. It was really beautiful and everyone was there, the cast and crew all together, and we were all telling stories.”


Becca Tobin’s Boyfriend Was Found Dead in a Hotel Bed

Glee cast member Becca Tobin suffered tragedy when her boyfriend, a nightclub owner named Matt Bendik, was found deceased in bed. According to the Mirror, police recorded his death as a “sudden death” and weren’t able to pinpoint a cause. There was no foul play suspected, and he was found dead at a hotel in Philadelphia.

“Thank you all for the love and support. Matt was the most extraordinary man I knew and he will live in my heart forever,” she wrote on Instagram.


Jesse Luken Crashed His Car

According to TMZ, Glee cast member Jesse Luken was arrested for drunk driving after crashing his car.


Samantha Ware Accused Lea Michele of ‘Traumatic Microaggressions’

Lea Michele

GettyActress Lea Michele arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures’ “New Year’s Eve” in December 2011.

Some people include the controversies around Lea Michele on the list of the show’s problems. Samantha Ware, who played Jane Hayward on Glee, responded to Michele on Twitter in the midst of unrest over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Ware responded to a tweet that Michele wrote about Floyd by accusing the actress of making “traumatic microagressions” toward her, adding that Michele had “told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would ‘s— in my wig!’”

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