The Flash star, who recurred on Glee for three seasons as antagonist Sebastian Smythe, paid tribute on Wednesday to his late co-star and “Smooth Criminal” duet partner in a heartfelt Instagram post, calling her death “truly unimaginable,” before admitting, “I was intimidated by her talent and presence on set, but she was always so kind and welcoming to me. So many of my Glee memories on and off set have Naya in them. She was one of a kind.
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“My heart breaks for her family and friends,” Gustin continued. “I’ll always keep Naya in my heart and remember her for the strong, talented and compassionate person she was to me in the brief time I got to spend with her. Sending so much strength and love to her family and everyone who’s heart is breaking over this tragic loss.”
Rivera’s accidental drowning death was confirmed on Monday after her body was recovered from California’s Lake Piru, five days after she was first reported missing. She had rented a boat on July 8 to go swimming with her four-year-old son, Josey. The boy was later found alone in the boat, with no sign of Rivera.
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