Naya Rivera has become the first member of the Glee cast to speak extensively on the tragic death of Cory Monteith.
With Lea Michele having requested privacy in the wake of her boyfriend's sudden passing, and many other stars having taken to Twitter to express shock and remorse, Rivera has now released the following statement:
"The entire Glee family and I are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Cory was and always will be a part of my own family and a good friend.
"He was a special part of this world and will forever be missed. My heart goes out to Cory's family and Lea and while we are grateful for everyone's well wishes, privacy during this time of grief is greatly appreciated."
Monteith and Rivera shared many memorable scenes through the show's first four seasons.
They collaborated on such covers as Madonna's "Like a Virgin" and Coldplay's "The Scientist."
A source close to the set, meanwhile, says everyone is simply in "shock" over the tragedy and it is "too soon to tell" how the writers will address Monteith's passing on the show.
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