IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Naya Rivera's father explains how they handle difficult conversations with her young son

"We handle him and we talk to him just like he's a 5-year-old going on six," George Rivera said.
/ Source: TODAY

Naya Rivera's father talked about how the family handles the heartbreaking and bittersweet moments when the late actor's son Josey asks about his mother.

George Rivera told "Entertainment Tonight" in an exclusive interview that will air on Wednesday that his daughter Nickayla and Josey's father, Ryan Dorsey, are "doing a really great job" raising the 5-year-old.

"(It's a) tough situation, especially because he was there. It's not like you're talking about a ghost that's floating around, right?" Rivera said. "He's got memories as well, but boy is he coming around, right? Really strong kid."

The "Glee" star died last July after she accidentally drowned in California's Lake Piru, where she had rented a pontoon boat for a day with Josey.

"We handle him and we talk to him just like he's a 5-year-old going on six," Rivera said. "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."

Earlier this month, Rivera shared details of the final conversation he had with his daughter, who FaceTimed him to ask him if he thought it was safe to swim in Lake Piru, which was known for having rip currents.

Rover said he told his daughter not to swim, since the boat she rented did not have an anchor.

"I could see that the wind was blowing and my stomach was just cringing," her father told People. "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.'"

As the family prepares to mark the somber one year anniversary of Rivera's death next month, they're also focused on keeping her memory alive for Josey. Dorsey shared a throwback photo of Rivera and her son last month in honor of Mother's Day.

"We can’t say the word happy but we’ll say thank you for being a mother & giving me this sweet amazing boy," he wrote.