Tia Mowry Reflects on 'Beautiful Spirit' Naya Rivera's Life and Legacy (Exclusive)

The 'Family Reunion' star gets emotional as she reflects on her friendship with the late 'Glee' star.

Tia Mowry will never forget Naya Rivera and her "beautiful spirit." The Family Reunion star praised the late actress, who died in an accidental drowning last month, while recently chatting with ET. The two actresses met each other through Mowry's younger brother, Tahj, and became close friends.

"I think about Naya every single day. Every single day. Naya was a beautiful, beautiful spirit," Mowry, 42, reflected, while promoting her Netflix series. "What I loved about her is she always had this calm demeanor and she was so funny, and she had the most beautiful smile."

"But the memories that I have of her are such wonderful, great memories of family. She would always be at the house, with my family, whether that’s making guacamole, whether that’s coming over for holiday gatherings," the former Sister, Sister star continued. "I also remember her going out with me, [my sister] Tamera, Cory, my husband now -- we were just dating then -- and just having just a really, really great time."

Mowry added that Rivera "was always so dependable, and just a loving, funny, wonderful, giving, always giving, spirit."

Following the Glee star's death, Mowry shared a photo of Rivera and her brother while on the set of his show Smart Guy, adding how the young actress became a part of their world.

"I’ve known your beautiful spirit since the age of 6. You quickly became family," Mowry wrote, before touching on some of her favorite memories of the two together.

Tahj was also vocal about his relationship with the late star. Following confirmation of her death, the former Baby Daddy star professed his love for her and wrote on his Instagram that he never stopped loving her.


On July 13, Rivera's body was found in Lake Piru in Ventura County, California, following a boating trip with her young son, Josey, days earlier. She was 33. A month after her death, a source told ET that while "this has been an unbelievably difficult time for her family and loved ones," Rivera's son was "doing better every day."

Josey is with his father, Ryan Dorsey, full time, the source said, adding that, all things considered, the young boy was coping well and understood that his mother is gone.

"Ryan’s whole world is Josey right now,” the source shared. "Ryan is still grieving and is very much struggling with the loss of Naya, but he stays strong and keeps going for the sake of his son."

"Ryan would do anything for Josey,” noted the source. “Right now, he’s really laying low and staying out of the public eye so he can completely focus on Josey and try to figure out how to navigate this new normal."

Hear more in the video below.