Pop Culture

Lea Michele mourning with Cory Monteith's family after actor's death

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for VH1 / Today
Lea Michele Mourning with Cory Monteith's Family After Actor's Death

Our hearts have all gone out to Lea Michele in these past few days. On Tuesday night, the Glee star issued a statement to the media, following the coroner's announcement that her boyfriend Cory Monteith died of a drug overdose.

"Lea is deeply grateful for all the love and support she’s received from family, friends, and fans," her rep told People. "Since Cory’s passing, Lea has been grieving alongside his family and making appropriate arrangements with them. They are supporting each other as they endure this profound loss together. We continue to ask the media to respect the privacy of Lea and Cory’s family."

TMZ is reporting that the actor's body was cremated on Tuesday after a private viewing where Lea got to say goodbye to her love, along with his mother and brother.

Co-stars Michele and Monteith had been dating for over a year, and things were reportedly getting more serious between them. They were about to reunite to shoot Glee's fifth season when Monteith, 31, was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room.

“She is devastated,” a friend of Lea's told New York's Daily News. “She was shaking when she heard the news.”

Monteith had been open about his history of drug and alcohol abuse, which began when he was a teenager. The sober actor relapsed earlier this year, and checked himself into the Betty Ford Center in March. But his struggle was more difficult than the public realized.

"He tried so hard to beat this. He didn't want to use. But he had a disease. He was an addict," a friend told E! News. "There's nothing nice about it, but that didn't make him a bad guy."

As it turns out, Monteith's recent drug problems were extremely serious. Prior to his rehab stint in March, another friend told E!, the actor was "shooting up heroin and crystal meth." The friend describes Cory as having "major track marks" from the needles, and needing a "very long" detox. (He reportedly spent time at a second rehab clinic after leaving Betty Ford.)

Prior to his fatal overdose, Monteith was spending time with friends in his native Canada—which may have contributed to his relapse. A source told TMZ that whenever Cory visited Vancouver, he returned to using drugs and alcohol, and that his old friends enabled his substance abuse. Apparently, he didn't have such problems on the Glee set, where Lea and his TV family worked hard to keep him sober. But sure enough, the day he arrived in Canada, he was seen drinking with friends.

The coroner's report, released Tuesday evening, confirmed what many had suspected: Monteith died of drug toxicity, specifically a mixture of heroin and alcohol. Police reported seeing "evidence in the room that was consistent with a drug overdose," which suggests that drugs were found in his hotel room. Until the autopsy results are made public, we won't know whether any other drugs were in his system at the time of his death.

Since Sunday, two spontaneous fan memorials have appeared in honor of Monteith: one outside Paramount Studios where Glee is filmed and the other outside the Pacific Rim Hotel where he passed away. The actor's reps are encouraging fans to honor his memory by donating to any of the three charities he worked with: Project Limelight Society (a free performing arts and meal program for Vancouver children), Chrysalis (a Los Angeles nonprofit that helps homeless and low-income individuals find work) and Virgin Unite (a worldwide organization that works to solve tough social and environmental problems).

Donna Kaufman is a freelance writer and iVillage contributor. Find her on Twitter and Google+.

A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.