As Glee alum Naya Rivera was confirmed dead on Monday, July 13, five days after she went missing in Lake Piru, California, fans are keeping her ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, in their thoughts in the wake of this tragic event.
Ryan fled to be with their 4-year-old son, Josey, who was found stranded on the boat his mother had rented on the lake shortly after her disappearance on July 8. The dad was seen holding his son while leaving Naya’s sister Nickayla Rivera’s home in Valencia, California, on July 9.
The Pitch star spent the days following his ex-wife’s disappearance with her family and they assisted officials in the search for Rivera before her body was found.
Her family is “completely devastated,” a source exclusively told In Touch after the actress’ disappearance. “Her family feels like they’re living in a bad dream, they’re all still in disbelief.”
“Everyone is heartbroken over what is surely the loss of Naya and for what Josey must have endured. That little boy worshipped his mom, he loved her so much,” the insider shared. “The thought of him waiting for his mom to get back into the boat, or what he may have witnessed is simply terrifying. Josey is still asking for his mommy.”
Scroll below to learn about the actor and loving father.
He’s From West Virginia
Ryan grew up far from Hollywood in Charleston, West Virginia. According to his website, he was from a coal mining village and originally aspired to be a baseball player — that was until “fate derailed those plans and landed him on the stage.”
He first took a liking to life in the spotlight after landing a lead role in his high school play. He made his own films at home until he moved to New York to peruse his dreams at The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.
He Is a Successful Actor
Ryan is most well-known for his roles in Justified and Ray Donovan. He’s also held a few small parts in some of our favorite shows like Shameless, Vampire Diaries and Parks and Recreations.
His Relationship With Naya Was Full of Ups and Downs
Naya and Ryan dated four years before she linked up with Big Sean. After she called off her engagement to the rapper in April 2014, Ryan reached out to his exes to make sure she was OK. They quickly rekindled their romance and wed in July of that year.
“By the time we sort of reconnected, I was like, gosh, there’s a reason why you keep coming back in my life and we keep coming back together,” Naya wrote of her romance with Ryan in her 2017 memoir, Sorry Not Sorry.
The pair welcomed their first child in 2015 and seemed like a perfect family. Their marital bliss sadly didn’t last and the Glee star filed for divorce in November 2016. After a change of heart, she called off their split one month later.
Despite their reconciliation, peace within their home didn’t last. In November 2017, Naya was arrested and charged with domestic battery after Ryan claimed she hit him in the head and face. She was later released on $1,000 bond and the domestic battery charges were dismissed in January 2018.
Following their altercation, Naya filed for divorce again and they finalized their separation in June of that year.
He Loves Being a Dad
Although things might not have worked out between him and Naya, the pair still bond over their son, whom they share joint custody of. The actor often posts photos of the little boy and recently gushed over him on Father’s Day. “Josey, I love you so much, you are the sunshine and joy of my life. Proud to be your daddy,” he wrote in a heartfelt Instagram post.