Naya Rivera's Family Released a Moving Statement Honoring Their "Beautiful Legend"

In a moving statement, Naya Rivera's family said the Glee star was "an amazing talent, but was an even greater person, mother, daughter and sister."

new york, ny february 13 actress naya rivera poses backstage at the christian siriano fall 2016 fashion show during new york fashion week at artbeam on february 13, 2016 in new york city photo by paul morigigetty images
(Image credit: JB Lacroix)
  • Naya Rivera's family paid tribute to their "beautiful legend" in a moving statement released to Deadline Tuesday.
  • "Naya was an amazing talent, but was an even greater person, mother, daughter and sister," Rivera's family said, adding, "Heaven gained our sassy angel."
  • The family thanked rescue workers for their efforts to find Rivera, as well as her "friends, colleagues, and fans" for their support.

Naya Rivera's family released a moving statement Tuesday, after police confirmed on Monday, July 13, that a body found in Lake Piru, Southern California, belonged to the Glee star. Rivera is believed to have drowned while swimming in the lake after hiring a rental boat with her 4-year-old son, Josey; police said she saved her son's life by helping him back into the boat before she died.

The family statement, given to Deadline by Rivera's manager Gladys Gonzalez, paid tribute to a "beautiful legend" who was "an amazing talent, but was an even greater person, mother, daughter and sister." Her family thanked the authorities who worked to find Rivera, as well as her "friends, colleagues, and fans" for their support. Deadline reports that Rivera is survived by parents Yolanda and George Rivera, sister Nickayla Rivera, brother Mychal Rivera, and son Josey.

Read the Rivera family's full statement below:

We are so grateful for the outpouring of love and prayers for Naya, Josey and our family over the past week. While we grieve the loss of our beautiful legend, we are blessed to honor her everlasting legacy and magnetic spirit. Naya was an amazing talent, but was an even greater person, mother, daughter and sister.

Thank you to the men and women of the Ventura, Tulare, and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Departments for your commitment and unwavering effort to find Naya. We extend endless gratitude and ovation to the heroine who found her. Thank you to her friends, colleagues, and fans for your continuous support.

Heaven gained our sassy angel. We kindly request that our privacy be respected during this very difficult time.

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beverly hills, ca may 05 naya rivera attends the 24th annual race to erase ms gala on may 05, 2017 in beverly hills, california photo by jb lacroixwireimage

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Emily Dixon
Emily Dixon

Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.