Inside Naya Rivera's Son, Sister and Ex’s New Life Together: ‘Everyone Is Doing Well’
By Leena Tailor
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Two months after her tragic death, Naya Rivera’s 5-year-old son, Josey, is being cared for by the late Glee star’s ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, and her sister, Nickayla Rivera.
In an effort to help provide stability and to keep “things consistent” for Josey as he learns to deal with life without his mother, ET has learned that Ryan and Nickayla have moved in together, but are not involved romantically.
On July 13, Naya was pronounced dead after she went missing in Lake Piru, located in the Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County, California, for several days. The actress and her son had decided to have a day out on the water, but he was later found alone in the boat they had rented without his mom, who was later found dead. Naya was 33.
A source tells ET that as soon as Naya went missing, Nickayla stepped in to help Ryan care for Josey. The doting aunt has always played an active role in the young boy’s life and often helped Naya care for him.
The source says Nickayla, 25, and Ryan, 37, have been working as a team to raise Josey and recently made the decision to live together.
"Since the devastating loss of Naya, Ryan’s role in parenting has of course been amped up,” the source says. “He’s the primary caregiver, but has been relying very heavily on Nickayla. He would not be able to do this without her help and involvement.”
The source adds that Ryan, Nickayla and Josey have been a “great team” and that rather than going back and forth between each other’s homes, moving into a rental together was the best decision for Josey’s well-being.
“They simply share the same goal -- to give Josey the best childhood possible and to raise him the best they can without Naya," the source says. "They’ve also found comfort in one another because they understand what each other is dealing with and they know how exhausting it can be to be grieving in the public eye while trying to keep it together for Josey.”
“All things considered, everyone is doing really well,” the source continues. “Josey is a very happy, sweet and playful boy. And, Ryan and Nickayla have also found many moments of joy and lightness in this tough time. Some days are harder than others, but overall everyone is doing well!”
In what may have been a response to those who questioned if she was romantically involved with Ryan, Nickayla took to social media on Monday to express that she was not concerned with “the way things look.”
“In the darkest times of my life, the only thing that is important is my friends and family,” she wrote on her Instagram Stories. “Showing up for my nephew, even though I can’t show up for myself. I’m not concerned with the way things look because no one can see each agonizing moment we all endure.”
“What matters most I’ve learned, is to show compassion, not to judge others, and never take a moment of life for granted,” she continued. “I hope you all can do the same.”
For more on Naya and her family, check out the video below.