Glee actress Naya Rivera, who was reported missing after swimming in Lake Piru in California, was once married to ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey. They married in 2014, but the marriage was marred by domestic abuse allegations against Rivera and ended in divorce. They had one son together.
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.”
“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.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Rivera Was Once Accused of Domestic Battery Against 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.
The statement from the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office said Dorsey told an officer, who was dispatched to an address in Chesapeake, West Virginia, that Rivera, then 30, had struck him in the head and face, ABC News reported.
ABC added that Dorsey produced a video and had “minor injuries.” However, the Blast reported that Dorsey later agreed to not pursue charges as part of a temporary custody agreement. Dorsey later addressed the matter on social media, writing, “This isn’t some reality show, this is our life, and I ask that everyone especially the media please respect our privacy and treat us/this situation how you would want a loved one to be treated. Perhaps with kindness, respect, without judgment, and as negative a situation this is, with positivity and love. Thanks.”
Their wedding took place in Cabo San Lucas in front of 12 people. “I met Naya a couple of weeks ago, I was working in California and I drove up to her house. She’s very tiny, real petite, but real down to earth, not with her nose stuck up in the air,” her father-in-law told Daily Mail. She had fairly recently broken up with fiance Big Sean.
Of Dorsey, the father-in-law told Daily Mail, “I knew she met him at some kind of a party, she saw him across a dance club and she went to talk to him. He was a playboy, he didn’t want to settle down, he wanted to concentrate on his work. But they remained friends and I guess they hooked up after the engagement from Big Sean was dropped.”
2. The Pair Worked out a Joint Custody Agreement Over Their 2-Year-Old Son
The couple’s marriage produced a son who was 2 years old at the time they divorced. His name is Josey Hollis Dorsey. One day before she disappeared, Rivera posted a picture on Instagram with the child and wrote, “Just the two of us.”
According to the Blast, the couple agreed to share joint custody of Josey and “both have waived the right to support payments to each other.” However, Rivera paid Dorsey $30,000 as a one-time payment, the Blast reported.
It was the second time Rivera had filed for divorce, the Blast reported.
The couple was married for four years. Rivera got to keep her $100,000 wedding ring in the divorce.
Dorsey frequently posts photos of his son on Instagram. Of the child’s 4th birthday, he wrote, “To the day my baby boy became a big boy. I love you more than love. That dont make sense, yet it makes perfect sense because that’s how much. 💙 ”
3. The Couple Lived Together in a $3.87 Million Home
The couple had a luxurious lifestyle while married. According to Page Six, they resided together in a $3.87 million home in Los Feliz.
After the couple’s divorce, Rivera put it on the market.
According to Page Six, the mansion was 4,330-square-foot with five bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. “The master suite has been reconfigured to include dual walk-in closets. In the master bath, you’ll find a soaking tub along with all-new tile and fixtures strategically selected for a charming old-fashioned feel,” the site reported.
4. Dorsey Was Raised in West Virginia & Auditioned for His First Role in High School
According to his IMDb profile, Dorsey was born in Charleston, West Virginia.
“Ryan was talked into auditioning for Ayn Rand’s NIGHT OF JANUARY 16th his senior year of high school,” the site reported.
“Landed one of the leads as middle-aged attorney and the acting bug was caught. Enrolling at Western Carolina University his freshman year, he had plans to walk-onto the football program and major in Theatre. That lasted only a semester and he moved back home and started making more films with his home town friends. This was the beginning of the road to New York City. After one year at West Virginia University and he moved to New York City after he auditioned and was accepted to The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.”
Some of his roles included parts in Justified, Pitch, and Ray Donovan.
5. Rivera Once Revealed That She Aborted Dorsey’s Baby
Rivera wrote a memoir called Sorry Not Sorry. She made headlines with her revelation that in 2010 she had an abortion.
She and Dorsey had just broken up and she was a few weeks pregnant. She “decided to put her career first” and had an abortion on a day off from Glee, according to USA Today.
“It was very scary to open up about everything,” Rivera told People. “It’s not something a lot of people talk about, but I think they should. I know some people might read it and say, ‘What the hell?’ But I hope someone out there gets something out of it.”
She wrote on Twitter in 2016, “I set out to write a book that was true to myself and would hopefully help others along the way. Media will always distort anything.”