Naya Rivera’s Dad Says She & Glee Co-Star Lea Michele ‘Hated Each Other’

Naya Rivera’s dad has something to say about his late daughter’s relationship with Lea Michele.

The three-part docuseries, The Price of Glee, debuted Monday night on Investigation Discovery. We previously covered the limited series’ trailer when it debuted last month, which promised an examination of the hit Fox show’s supposed “curse” — including the deaths of three of its stars, Cory Monteith, Mark Salling, and Naya, who tragically died while saving her son, Josey, from drowning at Lake Piru in 2020.

Beyond that, the show pulled back the curtain on some of the friendships — and drama — that developed during its 2009 to 2015 run, and Naya’s dad, George Rivera, added some context where he could.

While speaking on his daughter’s relationship with Lea, who starred as Rachel Berry on the musical dramedy, George explained the two regularly had “trouble” with one another. He alleged:

“There was always a fight between them. Always. Everybody knew. Everybody saw it. They hated each other but, at the same time, respected each other’s talent.”

He also made a point to note that his daughter, who played fan favorite Santana Lopez, never had any issues with other members of the cast or crew. Naya wrote about her estranged relationship with the Funny Girl lead back in her 2016 memoir, Sorry Not Sorry: My Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up. She wrote on her relationship with Lea:

“One of the Glee writers once said that Lea and I were like two sides of the same battery and that about sums us up. We are both strong willed and competitive — not just with each other but with everyone — and that’s not a good mixture.”

She continued:

“As the show progressed, though, that friendship started to break down, especially as Santana moved from a background character to one with bigger plot lines and more screen time.”

The Catwoman voice actress went on to claim that “Lea didn’t like sharing the spotlight,” and “was a lot more sensitive” in the face of “feedback or criticism.” She recalled:

“If I’d complained about anyone or anything, she’d assumed I was bitching about her.”

The late actress then finally reflected:

“Lea and I definitely weren’t the best of friends, and I doubt we’ll ever sit on her couch and eat kale together again, but the rumors of our ‘feud’ were blown out of proportion.”

This of course wasn’t the last instance a Glee cast member made claims about Lea, as show alum Samantha Ware claimed in 2020 that the Scream Queens star made the show’s environment “a living hell” through “traumatic microaggressions” on set. Lea, who was pregnant at the time, issued an apology on Instagram:

“Whether it was my privileged position and perspective that caused me to be perceived as insensitive or inappropriate at times or whether it was just my immaturity and me just being unnecessarily difficult, I apologize for my behavior and for any pain which I have caused.”

Phew, what do YOU think about George’s recollection of his daughter’s relationship with Lea? Let us know in the comments down below.

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