Naya Rivera passed away during a boating accident in California in July. She was 33.
Two months after the tragic drowning that took the life of Glee actor Naya Rivera, her ex-husband and sister have reportedly moved in together to raise the former couple’s young son.
ET can confirm Ryan and Nickayla have moved in together, but are not involved romantically — instead focused on providing stability and “keeping things consistent” in Josey’s life as he learns to deal with life without his mother.
Actor Ryan Dorsey, 37, and Nickayla Rivera, 25, a model and the younger sister of the late Naya Rivera, are now living together in a three-bedroom, $5,000-per month rental in California and raising young Josey, who recently turned 5, the Daily Mail is reporting. The two appear to be seeking solace in one another as they grieve and have been seemingly inseparable, reports the news organization, which published photos of the pair holding hands as well as video of them together.
A source tells ET that as soon as Naya went missing, Nickayla stepped in to help Ryan care for Josey. The doting aunt has always played an active role in the young boy’s life and often helped Naya care for him.
The source says Nickayla 25, and Ryan, 37, have been working as a team to raise Josey and recently made the decision to live together.
“Since the devastating loss of Naya, Ryan’s role in parenting has of course been amped up,” the source says. “He’s the primary caregiver, but has been relying very heavily on Nickayla. He would not be able to do this without her help and involvement.”
The source adds that Ryan, Nickayla and Josey have been a “great team” and that rather than going back and forth between each other’s homes, moving into a rental together was the best decision for Josey’s well-being and for maintaining consistency in his life.
While they may be living together, there is nothing romantic going on between Ryan and Nickayla, the source says.
“They simply share the same goal — to give Josey the best childhood possible and to raise him the best they can without Naya,” the source says. “They’ve also found comfort in one another because they understand what each other is dealing with and they know how exhausting it can be to be grieving in the public eye while trying to keep it together for Josey.”
“All things considered, everyone is doing really well,” the source continues. “Josey is a very happy, sweet and playful boy. And, Ryan and Nickayla have also found many moments of joy and lightness in this tough time. Some days are harder than others, but overall everyone is doing well!”
In what may have been a response to those who questioned if she was romantically involved with Ryan, Nickayla took to social media on Monday to express that she was not concerned with “the way things look.”
“In the darkest times of my life, the only thing that is important is my friends and family,” she wrote on her Instagram Stories. “Showing up for my nephew, even though I can’t show up for myself. I’m not concerned with the way things look because no one can see each agonizing moment we all endure.”
“What matters most I’ve learned, is to show compassion, not to judge others, and never take a moment of life for granted,” she continued. “I hope you all can do the same.”
Naya Rivera, 33, went missing after taking her son boating on California’s Lake Piru in July. After her son was found alone in the boat and responders searched for her remains. They recovered her body six days after she’d vanished. Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said the actor used the last of her strength to save little Josey.
The late Naya Rivera drew critical acclaim for her portrayal of openly gay cheerleader Santana Lopez on Glee from 2009 until 2015. She and Dorsey married in 2015 and welcomed their son, Josey, two months later. They divorced in 2016.
Nickayla Rivera is signed on with modeling agencies Photogenics in Los Angeles and Wilhelmina in New York, according to the Daily Mail.