Dot-Marie Jones paid tribute to her late “Glee” co-star Naya Rivera.
Jones, who played Coach Bieste on the show, paid a virtual visit to Global‘s “The Talk” — with the episode to air on Friday — and shared her memories of working with the Rivera, who tragically drowned in a California lake last week.
“It’s heartbreaking… I love her so much because she’s the real deal. She’s no BS. She’s not fake. What you see is what you get,” said Jones.
“Her heart and the sincerity of that girl, it’s just, people don’t even know,” she added.
Jones opened up about joining her former “Glee” cast members to visit Lake Piru, where Rivera’s body was found on Monday.
“We had been in a group text the night before, and we had planned to go out that night, but it was already coming on 5 o’clock, and the lake from where I live is like 45 minutes away, an hour. And the kids decided, you know, maybe we can do it first thing in the morning,” she said.
“I told Bridgett [Casteen], my wife, I just said, ‘I gotta go.’ And she said, ‘I know you do.’ And so, I went out by myself — got there probably about six, and cried and prayed and talked, and you know, told her she had to come home, so we could all rest, and especially her mama and her family,” Jones continued.
“The kids being there, and all of us praying and talking, and I know Cory [Monteith] had something to do with it,” she added. “He had to because, God bless, they found her on the seventh anniversary of Cory’s death, which is unfathomable.”
Visiting the lake to pay tribute to Rivera, Jones explained, was “something you don’t plan on doing, my God, but it’s life, and unfortunately it’s affected so many of us. And it just shows how much we all cared and loved that girl. Rivera was a good kid. We loved her.”
When Jones’ wife had “a massive stroke three years ago,” she revealed “Naya was the first one to send me a message saying, ‘Oh my God, I just heard about your beautiful wife, just sending you so much love’…and then she attached a picture of little Josey and just said, ‘I hope this makes you all smile.’”
The last time she saw Rivera, Jones recalled, it was by chance.
“The last time I saw Naya was, I was either going to Atlanta to do a film, and she happened to be coming home from Atlanta from doing one of the shows… and I hear ‘Dot,’ and I’m like oh my God and I turned around and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, Rivera, what are you doing?’ We hugged and kissed and we had about a five-minute conversation,” she said. “And it had been like probably a year-and-a-half, and it was like no time had passed. You know what I mean? Because it’s who she is, and it’s just not fair.”