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Naya Rivera’s dad says her son, 5, is a ‘strong kid who loves talking about mum’

Naya Rivera’s dad has praised the strength of his grandson Josey as it approaches a year since the tragic death of the Glee star.

The five-year-old has been described as a “really strong kid” who loves speaking about his late mother, as the family prepare for the one-year anniversary of her passing.

Joesy was found asleep in a boat at Lake Piru in Southern California after 33-year-old actress Naya died in a drowning accident, in July 2020.

George, 64, has spoken to Entertainment Tonight about how Josey has coped since Naya’s death, saying that the youngster’s father Ryan Dorsey and Naya’s sister Nickayla Rivera have done a praiseworthy job in raising him.

Naya Rivera with son Josey

Naya’s dad said: “”Nickayla and Ryan are doing a really great job. Tough situation, especially because he was there.”

George continued: “It’s not like you’re talking about a ghost that’s floating around, right? He’s got memories as well, but boy is he coming around, right?

“Really strong kid.”

He continued to say that Josey has handled his loss “really well”.

George added: “We handle him and we talk to him just like he’s a five-year-old going on six.

“It’s no different but when he wants to talk about his mother, we talk about his mother, in conversation.

“He’s growing up and handling it really well.”

Naya’s body was found five days after a boat she had hired for three-hours had not returned.

Naya Rivera, Ryan Dorsey and their son Josey
Naya Rivera, Ryan Dorsey and their son Josey

Staff at the lake found the boat at the north side of the lake with Josey inside. Authorities believe Naya had died saving her son.

George told People earlier this month that he had shared a FaceTime call with his daughter shortly before her tragic accident.

He said that Naya was looking for some advice while she was on the lake: “She would always bounce stuff off me.”

Ryan Dorsey and son Josey
Ryan Dorsey and son Josey

George recalled: “I could see that the wind was blowing and my stomach was just cringing.

“I kept telling her, ‘Don’t get out of the boat! Don’t get out of the boat! It will drift away when you’re in the water.'”

The FaceTime call cut out after about three minutes and George said: “It was just heartbreaking. I had this bad feeling that was just killing me.”

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