Naya Rivera’s ex, Ryan Dorsey, shoots down rumors linking him to her sister

Naya Rivera and her ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, welcomed their son, Josey Hollis Dorsey, in 2015.
Naya Rivera and her ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, welcomed their son, Josey Hollis Dorsey, in 2015.
(Jonathan Leibson / Getty Images)
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Ryan Dorsey is asking for privacy and respect as he grieves the death of actress Naya Rivera, his ex-wife and the mother of his son.

Dorsey posted a 12-minute video to Instagram Tuesday explaining that “it’s not always black and white” after rumors surfaced of a romantic relationship with Rivera’s younger sister, Nickayla Rivera.

“It’s truly sad that this is the world that we live in, where people were raised to think it’s OK to just spew hatred,” Dorsey said. “Especially make statements about a family who are dealing with a tragedy that I hope is so unimaginable that you or anyone that is close to you ever has to go through.”


The “Ray Donovan” actor doesn’t usually pay any mind to social media comments, he said, but after reading a handful, he felt that he had to say something.

“I wasn’t even gonna speak on any of this,” Dorsey said. “But I feel like my head is full of so many things right now that the last thing I want running through my head is this bull—.”

Naya Rivera, known for her role on the TV series “Glee,” died in July while boating with her 5-year-old son, Josey. Her death was ruled an accidental drowning.

The actress, whose body was discovered Monday, disappeared last week during a boat outing with her young son.

July 14, 2020

“I can’t even imagine how I would feel as a parent if my son were to grow up … and he would do this to some strangers on social media or in real life,” Dorsey said. “I’m not really worried about that because I know that would never happen, because he’s a sweet, smart, caring, sweetest soul of a young man who, at the age of 5, is having to grow up so fast and grow up like so many of us didn’t have to: without his mother.”

Dorsey, who now has sole custody of his son, estimated that he’s lost more than 20 pounds due to grief since Rivera’s death. He doesn’t sleep well, he said. He’s “sad every day he wakes up” and goes to sleep sad.


“The grieving can start, but the sadness gets heavier,” Dorsey said. “Because you know you’re gonna have to have a conversation one on one with the little boy and tell him about our new reality. I mean, man, saying that this is sad is the understatement of my life.”

He has been spending a lot of time with Rivera’s family, the actor said, including her sister — whom Josey calls “Titi” — and Josey’s grandparents, aunts and uncles.

“And then he asks me if Titi can live with us,” Dorsey said. “‘I want Titi to live with us forever.’ Because she’s now the closest thing that he has to a mom. And because you’re gonna need all the help you can get as single parent.”

Dorsey also called out outlets that have created “such absurd narratives, trying to create false realities” about his relationship with Nickayla Rivera.


“You deal with it every hour of every day for 80-plus days now,” Dorsey said. “I wouldn’t want any of you to ever have to go through that. And to have to let him get what he wants, what he asks for and what he needs right now, which is his family. Even though you know it’s temporary and it’s not forever; it’s a temporary situation.

“After all he’s had to go through, how could you deny him that? And because of what? Because of what some strangers might think or say? Or spew some hatred based on some ill-advised, illogical, misinformed tabloid?”

On Tuesday, Nickayla Rivera addressed the optics of their relationship on her Instagram Stories.

Naya Rivera’s sister, Nickayla Rivera, doesn’t put much stock in the optics of her reported living arrangement with former brother-in-law Ryan Dorsey.

Sept. 29, 2020

“In the darkest time of my life, the only thing that is important is my friends and family,” the model wrote. “Showing up for my nephew, even though I can’t show up for myself.

“Im not concerned with the way things look because no one can see each agonizing moment we all endure,” Rivera continued. “What matters most I’ve learned, is to show compassion, not to judge others, & never take a moment of life for granted. I hope you all can do the same.”