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Cory Monteith's mom remembers moment she learned of his death: 'I just shut down'

Five years after the death of "Glee" star Cory Monteith, his mom, Ann McGregor, opens up about her loss.
/ Source: TODAY

Five years after the death of "Glee" star Cory Monteith, his mom, Ann McGregor, is opening up about the devastating loss of her son.

In a new interview with People magazine, McGregory revealed she can still vividly remember the terrible moment she learned Monteith had passed away. "I got a call from Lea (Michele, his co-star and girlfriend) and she was screaming, 'Is it true?' I had heard nothing. And a minute later police knocked on my door."

"Glee" star Cory Monteith died of an accidental drug overdose on July 13, 2013.Jordan Strauss / AP

Monteith, who had struggled with addiction throughout his life, died of an accidental drug overdose at 31. His body was discovered in a Vancouver, Canada, hotel room on July 13, 2013. A coroner's report revealed he'd been drinking and using narcotic drugs, including heroin and morphine.

"I just shut down because the pain was too great," McGregor recalled of realizing her son was gone.

As a precociously smart youngster — Monteith learned to read at 3 and skipped both kindergarten and first grade — the actor always gravitated toward older kids.

"There was this disconnect because he was pushed so far ahead that he always associated with older kids,” says McGregor.

By 13, Monteith was experimenting with drugs and alcohol. By 15, he'd completed his first rehab stint. He eventually dropped out of high school and lived for periods on the streets.

Lea Michele and Cory Monteith appear together in a scene from season 3 of "Glee."FOX via Getty Images

Though playing Finn Hudson, the lovable quarterback of the McKinley High School football team, on "Glee" brought him fame, McGregor says her son wasn't "hard enough" to deal with the Hollywood limelight.

"He wasn’t ready for the world he got into,” said McGregor. “He didn’t care about fame or fortune. He called it plastic. It was just too superficial for him. He was too grounded, and his heart was too intact. He couldn’t become hard enough to deal with Hollywood.”

McGregor believes her son had a bright future in store for him, and that makes his death all the more agonizing.

"The best part of Cory’s life was coming,” shared McGregor. “He still had so much to live for."

People magazine's interview with McGregor hits newsstands this Friday.