Naya Rivera’s father claims she and Lea Michele ‘hated each other’ on ‘Glee’

Naya Rivera’s dad has alleged that his late daughter and her fellow “Glee” star Lea Michele “hated each other” — despite Naya previously stating that wasn’t the case.

More than two years after Naya accidentally drowned at 33 while saving her young son Josey, her father, George Rivera, took part in Investigation Discovery’s documentary “The Price of Glee.”

The three-part series, which dropped Monday, unpacks the demands of being on the hit TV series, which aired from 2009 to 2015 on Fox, and dark behind-the-scenes drama.

“There was always a fight between them. Always. Everybody knew. Everybody saw it,” George said of the alleged dynamic between Naya and Michele.

“They hated each other but, at the same time, respected each other’s talent,” he claimed.

George Rivera spoke about his daughter in the three-part docuseries “The Price of Glee.”
The Price of Glee

Naya wrote about her relationship with Michele in her 2016 memoir, “Sorry Not Sorry.”

“I don’t hate Lea, and I never have,” she stated emphatically.

“We are both strong-willed and competitive — and that’s not a good mixture,” she explained. “When two people with strong personalities are friends, they’re eventually going to clash. And maybe they’ll get over it; maybe they won’t. Lea and I didn’t.”

Naya Rivera and Lea Michele didn't get along
Naya Rivera wrote about her differences with Lea Michele in her 2016 memoir.
Getty Images

Rivera also added that the current “Funny Girl” star “didn’t like sharing the spotlight” with others.

“She had a hard time separating work from our outside friendship,” she wrote at the time. “Lea was a lot more sensitive, though, and it seemed like she blamed me for anything and everything that went wrong,” she went on. “If I’d complained about anyone or anything, she assumed I was bitching about her. Soon she started to ignore me, and eventually it got to the point where she didn’t say a word to me for all of Season 6.”

Still, Rivera added that while she wished the duo had a better relationship, “rumors of a ‘feud’ were blown out of proportion.” She was also far from the only cast member to have complaints about Michele’s on-set behavior over the years.

Elsewhere in “The Price of Glee,” George recalled the last conversation he had with his daughter before her death was about being careful while out on the water.

Lea Michele attends the 16th annual God's Love We Deliver Golden Heart Awards at The Glasshouse on October 17, 2022, in New York City.
Michele has been said to be hard to work with.
WireImage

“I get a sinking feeling ’cause we’ve been boating forever,” he remembered. “I was FaceTiming with her trying to talk her through, sort of the pitfalls of trying to anchor your boat. First of all, I said, ‘Naya, you’re on a pontoon boat, that’s not a boat … Why are you on a pontoon boat?’

“I said, ‘Do not jump off that effin’ boat. If you’ve got an anchor, you can anchor it, but … do you know how to anchor it?” he recalled telling her. “We went through a couple iterations like that and then the FaceTime call hung up and that was the last time I talked to her.”

George — who was in Knoxville, Tennessee, at the time — added that he knew “it was over with” when authorities called him to explain that Naya was not found with the boat or his safe, sleeping grandchild.

The cast of "Glee,"
The cast of Fox’s “Glee.”
FOX

“You don’t find a drifting, 5-year-old child asleep on a boat at the end of a lake without his mother and have any hope,” he said. “I had no hope.”

Naya’s body was found five days later in an area of Lake Piru in California close to where she and Josey had taken a boat ride.

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