Inside Naya Rivera and Lea Michele's relationship amid claims that duo 'hated' each other on 'Glee' sets
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA: The 'Glee' cast didn't exactly hide the drama that occurred behind the cameras, and now George Rivera, the father of Naya Rivera, has revealed that the deceased actress 'hated' Lea Michele. George made the revelation in the Investigation Discovery documentary 'The Price of Glee', which debuted on Monday, January 16.
The three-part series explores the challenges of working on the popular TV show that aired on Fox from 2009 to 2015 and the sinister drama that goes on behind the scenes. Naya accidentally drowned at the age of 33 while trying to save her infant son Josey. "There was always a fight between them. Always. Everybody knew. Everybody saw it," George stated regarding the apparent relationship between Naya and Michele. "They hated each other but, at the same time, respected each other’s talent."
Inside Naya Rivera and Lea Michele's relationship
In her 2016 memoir, 'Sorry Not Sorry', Naya Rivera discussed her relationship with Lea Michele. She said firmly, "I don't hate Lea, and I never have." She added, "We are both strong-willed and competitive — and that’s not a good mixture,” she explained. “When two people with strong personalities are friends, they’re eventually going to clash. And maybe they’ll get over it; maybe they won’t. Lea and I didn’t."
The current 'Funny Girl' star, according to Rivera, "didn't like sharing the spotlight" with others, reported New York Post. "She had a hard time separating work from our outside friendship," she penned at the time. "Lea was a lot more sensitive, though, and it seemed like she blamed me for anything and everything that went wrong,” she went on. "If I’d complained about anyone or anything, she assumed I was bitching about her. Soon she started to ignore me, and eventually, it got to the point where she didn’t say a word to me for all of Season 6."
While expressing her wish for a healthier connection between the two, Rivera said that "rumors of a 'feud' were blown out of proportion." She wasn't the only cast member who had issues with Michele's conduct on set over the years; in fact, there were quite a few.
The teen singing drama, which aired from 2009 to 2015, focused on the New Directions glee club at the fictional William McKinley High School. Lea portrayed the energetic performer Rachel Berry, while Naya portrayed the cheerleader Santana Lopez, who initially joined the group to observe it but later came to love it. Working together over the course of all six seasons, rumors that Naya had complained about Lea's "diva antics" on set first surfaced in 2014, as reported by Metro UK.
In another scene from 'The Price of Glee,' George remembers talking to his daughter one more time about being cautious when boating. "I get a sinking feeling ’cause we’ve been boating forever," he recalled. "I was FaceTiming with her trying to talk her through, sort of the pitfalls of trying to anchor your boat. First of all, I said, 'Naya, you’re on a pontoon boat, that’s not a boat … Why are you on a pontoon boat?' "I said, 'Do not jump off that effin' boat. If you’ve got an anchor, you can anchor it, but … do you know how to anchor it?” he remembered telling her. "We went through a couple iterations like that and then the FaceTime call hung up and that was the last time I talked to her."