It’s been a year since the passing of “Glee” star Naya Rivera, and her ex-boyfriend actor Tahj Mowry is opening up about the impact that their relationship has on him. In an interview with Glamour magazine, Mowry, the younger brother of “Sister, Sister” stars and twins Tia and Tamera Mowry, revealed that no one compares to his first love, Rivera.
“She was definitely my first everything. I think subconsciously it’s why I never really date like that because no one really ever… I know someday someone might, but it’s hard to measure up to the type of girl and woman she was,” Mowry confessed.
The 34-year-old noted that he finds it hard to speak about Rivera’s death, but Mowry likes to choose his words carefully out of respect for her loved ones when he does.
“Because to think about her mother and her ex-husband and her child and her sister and her brother…the height of what they went through is times a thousand,” he explained. “I almost feel like I can’t even talk about my feelings because they don’t even measure up to the pain that they went through and are still going through. But, yes, much love to her entire family — her brother, her sister, her child, and her ex-husband as well.”
Mowry met Rivera when she guest-starred on his hit television show from the 1990s, “Smart Guy.” The two remained close friends and didn’t date until 2000. Mowry announced last July when news broke that Rivera went missing while spending a day on the lake with her son, Josey Hollis Dorsey that he and Rivera dated for about four years.
“My sweet Naya – to say that I am devastated would be an understatement. This is a nightmare. Every day gets harder. However, I am holding onto hope that you will be found,” he wrote in a heartfelt tribute on Instagram.
“We grew up together. We became adults together. We experienced so many firsts together. You were my first experience with everything; love, intimacy, heartbreak. We broke each others hearts and then mended them back together…more than once,” Mowry’s post also read.
“Naya, I miss you deeply/ I love you forever. I always have and I always will,” he concluded the tribute before adding a heart emoji.
In May, Mowry told “Entertainment Tonight” host Deidre Behar about where he is in the grieving process. “I’m good, and she’s in a better place, and she’s chilling. You know what I mean? So that is where I can find the joy and the peace,” Mowry told Behar.
“I think overall the amazing mother that she became and the working mother that she became … I think she’s the spitting image of what women are capable of doing just as capable as men are,” he said. “She was so strong; she was hilarious, oh my God, and so talented, so talented. Her voice always was the best I had ever heard,” Mowry concluded.