Naya Rivera's dad has addressed the rumors about his daughter Nickayla having a relationship with the Glee actress' ex, Ryan Dorsey. During a conversation with Entertainment Tonight's Kevin Frazier, nearly one year after the Glee star's death, George Rivera has spoken about how Nickayla, 27, has been helping Ryan, 37, with the son Naya and Ryan shared together, 5-year-old Josey. Many began speculating that Nickayla and Ryan's relationship was romantic, but the pair have refuted those claims.
"I'm used to paparazzi, not me myself, but I'm used to hearing about the paparazzi," George said. "I'm used to hearing about people’s opinions and if you're going to sit and let any people's opinions guide any kind of decisions for you, I don't know if you've got the inner strength to either be in the business or do something right, so that didn't bother me at all because we knew we were doing the right thing, and that's what we did." He went on to speak highly of Ryan, saying that he is a good father to Josey. George also shared how Nickalya has stepped up to help raise her nephew.
"You learn a lot about people and you learn a lot about relationships when you go through something like this and I couldn't thank Ryan enough for the father he has become," George said. "I have always had respect for Ryan. I have always thought that he was a stand-up guy and my opinion is ... I'm just more proud of him now than I ever would have been through this period."
Speaking about his daughter, who is a model, George gushed, "Nickayla is an amazing individual, she has got a lot of love for her sister, very close." He continued, "Again, we talk about pride as a father, really, it's not about modeling, it's not about acting ... it's about what type of person you are. That's what it shows me, what type of person she is -- very strong and resilient, right, that's what you have to be. You have to understand, we have to overcome some things, do the best you can with what you have."
Rivera was reported missing on July 8, 2020, after taking then-4-year-old Josey out in a rented boat on the Ventura, California lake. The pontoon was discovered with Josey aboard, but Rivera was nowhere to be found. Authorities searched for more than five days, eventually finding Rivera's body on the morning of July 13. Her death was officially ruled an accidental drowning.