Big Sean has shared a touching tribute to his ex-fiancée Naya Rivera.
In a lengthy Instagram post, the rapper admitted he’s “still grieving and in shock” over her tragic death.
The 33-year-old’s body was found in Lake Piru on Monday, five days after she went missing during a boating trip with her four-year-old son Josey.
Sharing a black-and-white photo of Naya, alongside a photo of the actress cuddling her son, Sean wrote: “Rest In Peace Naya, God Bless your Soul! Thank you for blessing us all with your talent and presence. you are a hero!”
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The 32-year-old went on to praise the actress for saving her son, after police officials said they believe Naya rescued her son from the lake before she drowned.
Sean continued: “Not just because of how you saved your son, also because of the barriers you knocked down for so many people to make them feel confident in themselves and to stand tall and be proud when they couldn’t achieve that on their own.”
“I appreciate and cherish everything that ever happened between us for making me wiser and a better person. I’m still grieving and in shock, I can’t believe this is real.”
“I’m praying for you and your family and I know your watching over them and protecting them. Rest In Peace Naya,” he added.
Big Sean and Naya got engaged in 2013 after just six months of dating, but they called it quits five months later.
The Glee actress was declared missing on July 8, after her four-year-old son Josey was found alone on a rented pontoon boat in the middle of Lake Piru.
Five days later, the 33-year-old’s body was discovered floating at the surface of the lake.
During a press conference on Monday, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said officials believe Naya and her son were swimming in the lake when they got caught in a current.
The sheriff said: “Her son described being helped into the boat by Naya, who boosted him on to the deck from behind. He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water.”
“There are a lot of currents on the lake that appear particularly in the afternoon,” he explained.
“We believe it was mid-afternoon when she disappeared, the idea perhaps being that the boat started drifting, it was unanchored, and that she mustered enough energy to get her son back onto the boat, but not enough to save herself.”
After her death was officially ruled as an accident, Naya’s family said in a statement: “We are so grateful for the outpouring of love and prayers for Naya, Josey and our family over the past week.”
“While we grieve the loss of our beautiful legend, we are blessed to honor her everlasting legacy and magnetic spirit. Naya was an amazing talent, but was an even greater person, mother, daughter and sister.”
“Thank you to the men and women of the Ventura, Tulare, and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Departments for your commitment and unwavering effort to find Naya.”
“We extend endless gratitude and ovation to the heroine who found her. Thank you to her friends, colleagues, and fans for your continuous support.
“Heaven gained our sassy angel. We kindly request that our privacy be respected during this very difficult time,” they added.
Naya is survived by her parents, Yolanda and George Rivera; brother, Mychal Rivera; sister, Nickayla Rivera; and son Josey.
On this week’s episode of the Gosscast, Goss.ie Founder Ali Ryan and Goss.ie Editor Kendra Becker discuss Johnny Depp’s explosive libel trial, involving his ex-wife Amber Heard.
Plus as Meghan Markle’s battle against the press continues, the girls discuss her latest attempt to protect her image – amid her lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday.
The Gosscast is available on all usual platforms, including iTunes and Spotify.