Of all the people who owe zero explanation to the public for their behavior, we would put Naya Rivera’s grieving ex-husband Ryan Dorsey and sister Nickayla Rivera up high on that list. The tabloids have been hounding them since they moved in together following Naya’s death by accidental drowning in July, even as it’s clear she is helping out with her nephew Josey. And yet Dorsey decided on Tuesday night that he had better explain his choices as a father, possibly in an attempt to shut down nasty comments once and for all.
“It was brought to my attention that there’s a lot of people who have a lot to say and have opinions on a family’s tragic situation; 99 percent are strangers that don’t even know this family,” Dorsey said in a long Instagram video. He and Nickayla, a model and influencer, have apparently been receiving awful comments, and even death threats in their DMs, particularly after the Daily Mail published photos of them shopping together at Target. In one photo, they look like they may have been holding hands, though that also appears to be merely an illusion created by the angle of the photographer.
In the video, Dorsey spends half the time speaking about his experiences in the third person, almost distancing himself in order to be able to talk about them. Which, no wonder, just read how he describes Josey’s reaction to his mother’s disappearance and death.
“When the young boy says, ‘Do you think that they’ll find her? Do you want them to find her?’ — he’s so smart, and you know he witnessed a nightmare before his eyes,” Dorsey said. “I have to tell him, ‘Oh, she’s an angel now. She’s with god. She’s in heaven.’ And he says, ‘I want to go there. How do I get there?’ I wouldn’t wish that upon any of your ears … to hear those words come out of the sweetest soul you know.'”
Amid all this, Josey, who just turned 5, asked for his “Titi” Nickayla could live with them, “because she’s now the closest thing he has to a mom, because you’re going to need all the help you can get as a single parent trying to build your career and navigate this disaster with your child.”
When you hear that, as a warm-blooded human being, how can you possibly judge Dorsey for doing this? He wonders that himself.
“After all that he’s had to go through how could you deny him that?” he asked judgmental strangers. “I hope you would be lucky as me to have family on both sides who support and who have helped out tremendously. To have a young woman who is his blood, his Titi, who is willing to put her life on hold and sacrifice things, uproot her situation for the betterment of your child.”
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Sister, There are no words to describe my love for you. Side by side or miles apart, our connection is infinite. Our bond is unbreakable. We were complete opposites, yet simultaneously the same. The yin to my yang. I never knew that by losing you, I would find so much of you in myself. I’ve never known a life without you in it & still can’t imagine it. My world is turned upside down. But through it all, everything we were, we are still. I’ll always look at you with the same eyes as I did when I was young. My shmaya, I’ll love you for eternity & miss you every second of my life. 🤍
And rather than express anger toward the tabloids and the girls who followed him and Rivera in Target to take those photos, he asks for empathy for two adults who are grieving together.
“Shit man, I wish I was worried about a relationship right now, not thinking about this and living with this every day.”
And by the way, if they did hook up romantically, we’re hard-pressed to think of why that’s a problem for anyone else.
“In the darkest time of my life, the only thing that is important is my friends & family,” Nickayla wrote on her Instagram Stories on Monday. “Showing up for my nephew even though I can’t show up for myself.”
Josey deserves to grow up with happy people in his life, not with people constantly hounded by “concerned” fans and paparazzi.