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Naya Rivera on Cory Monteith’s Death: He “Was and Always Will Be a Part of My Own Family”

Naya Rivera and Cory Monteith
Cory Monteith's Glee costar Naya Rivera has released a statement about his death, saying he "was and always will be" family to her 

As the news of Cory Monteith's sudden, shocking death settles in, the Glee star's friends and family are grieving his loss. Naya Rivera, who appeared with Monteith on Fox's hit musical series and also co-hosted the GLAAD Media Awards with him in March 2012, said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter that he was more than just a costar to her.

"The entire Glee family and I are deeply saddened by this tragedy," she said on Monday, July 15. "Cory was and always will be a part of my own family and a good friend. He was a special part of this world and will forever be missed."

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"My heart goes out to Cory's family and Lea," she continued, referring to the actor's costar and girlfriend, Lea Michele, "and while we are grateful for everyone's well wishes, privacy during this time of grief is greatly appreciated."

Monteith, 31, was found dead in his hotel room at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel in Vancouver, Canada, on Saturday, July 13. An autopsy was scheduled for Monday, July 15, but the British Columbia coroner's office told Us Weekly it could be "several days or even a couple of weeks" before toxicology and autopsy reports determine cause of death. No foul play is suspected.

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After Vancouver police confirmed the tragedy in a press conference late Saturday night, tributes to Monteith began pouring in on Twitter. Among other Glee stars to express their grief were Dot Marie Jones, Kristin Chenoweth, and Lauren Potter.

"I am totally heartbroken right now. I love Cory so much this hurts my heart," Potter, who plays Becky Jackson, tweeted. "Cory was always so nice to me. I have so many good memories."

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Glee's Matthew Morrison, a.k.a. Mr. Schuester, also paid tribute to his friend, during his Up Close and Personal show at 54 Below in New York City on Sunday, July 14. "Matt came out before the show started and said, 'We lost a great young man too soon,'" a source told Us Weekly of the performance. "He said Cory was a beautiful person." Then he told the crowd, "You came out to see a show, I came out to do one, so let's honor Cory with this performance."

At one point, Morrison, 34, dedicated a song to Monteith: "What I Did for Love," from the Broadway classic A Chorus Line. "He was very emotional on stage," the source told Us. "It was difficult for him to get up to perform, but he did not want to disappoint anyone."

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