Tahj Mowry is still grieving for his teenage love Naya Rivera nearly a year after her death. Mowry spoke about the Glee actress in an interview with Glamour when asked about his first celebrity crush, sharing that “she was my first everything.”
Mowry and Rivera met while working on Smart Guy and dated from 2000-2004. In an Instagram tribute to Rivera when she was reported missing last July, Mowry said that the couple was each other’s first experience with intimacy and heartbreak.
Mowry told Glamour, “I think subconsciously it’s why I never really date like that because … I know someday someone might, but it’s hard to measure up to the type of girl and woman she was.”
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Mowry also said that he has been in contact with Rivera’s family, and he emphasized that he wanted to be respectful of their grief.
“She recently passed away, which was really, really rough,” he said. “I have so much respect for her family. I still am in communication with them, so I just want to make sure I’m respectful of that and what her family is going through.”
After a drowning accident last July at Lake Piru in Ventura County, Rivera passed away while on a boating trip with her son Josey Dorsey. BET previously reported that the six-year-old is now being raised by Rivera’s ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, and her sister, Nickayla.
Mowry continued, “Because to think about her mother and her ex-husband and her child and her sister and her brother … the height of what they went through is [what I felt] times a thousand. I almost feel like I can’t even talk about my feelings because they don’t even measure up to the pain that they went through and are still going through. But, yes, much love to her entire family — her brother, her sister, her child, and her ex-husband as well.”