George Rivera says producer Ryan Murphy is failing to follow through on a promise he made in the days following Rivera’s death last July that he would set up a college fund for her 5-year-old son Josey.
“Everyone needs to know what Ryan Murphy really did ... or didn’t do !!!” Rivera had tweeted on Tuesday night. “When you are part of the Hollywood elite, some people treat others as they are ‘less than’ …. vocalize a good game , but it’s as shallow as the sets on stage, that they create.”
“Broken Promises..... fake outrage .... hollow gestures ..... no phone call,” he added in another tweet.
When contacted by The Daily Beast on Wednesday, Rivera said he felt compelled to speak out after seeing the older tweet about Murphy’s initial statement that announced he’d be setting up the college fund.
“I think about my daughter every day,” he explained. “I don’t know if you’ve ever lost a child, but some things spark different emotions and you just feel it’s time to, you know, set the record straight.”
In an initial Twitter response to Rivera on Tuesday, Murphy claimed he’s been in “repeated conversations with the appropriate executors of her estate” and remains committed to setting up a fund for Josey.
But Rivera waved away his claims and stressed it was not about the money, but the fact Murphy has yet to follow through on his word, saying, “He didn’t reach out to me, first of all. Secondly, if he’s going to go public with doing something, well go ahead and do it.”
“I didn’t explicitly come out and say anything about his efforts towards a college fund, we could care less about a college fund,” he added. “It’s deeper than the college fund, I’ll just tell you that.”
When asked to clarify what he meant by saying he would “blow up this story,” Rivera said he will eventually go public about the matter, explaining “I think sometimes to move people, you have to let them know that the truth will come out.”
Rivera said the family is working towards creating a project, potentially a podcast, to “have a conversation” about his daughter’s life and career.
“We don’t care about Ryan Murphy,” he added. “Everyone is focusing on Ryan Murphy; Ryan Murphy is not the subject. Naya Rivera and her life is the subject.”
Rivera’s death was ruled an accidental drowning last July after having a lake day with her son on Lake Piru in Ventura County, California. Staff from a boat rental business had gone searching for the mother and son after they failed to return her pontoon on time.
They discovered Josey asleep and alone on the boat, with Rivera nowhere to be found. The little boy told officials how he watched his mother sink below the waters. Six days later, her body was found.
The Ventura County Sheriff said Rivera had used her last moments to save her son. “She mustered enough energy to get her son back onto the boat, but not enough to save herself,” he said.
Rivera found fame while starring as Santana Lopez on Murphy’s hit show Glee, which ended in 2015.