Cory Monteith died of a drug overdose in Vancouver back in July, and this week his girlfriend and Glee costar Lea Michele told Ellen DeGeneres what life is like without him. Losing Cory meant losing the man she loved both on TV and in real life. Michele's role as Rachel Berry played opposite his as Finn Hudson. Now five months after Cory's passing, Lea is trying to be strong in both her personal and professional lives.
"It's certainly been a pretty rough year," Michele told Ellen DeGeneres. "But I've been surrounded by such great people, such great family."
Cory Monteith was just 31 years old when he died, and at just 27, Lea Michele is struggling to put the pieces back together again. Kate Hudson played an instrumental role in helping Lea heal. She allowed her to hide out at her home after Cory died, so she could have some privacy in which to grieve. The life of a Hollywood actress seems so exciting--and it probably is. But when someone faces a life-altering tragedy like this one, they need to be as far-removed from the spotlight as possible.
Just one month after Cory died, however, Lea Michele went back to work.
"[Glee co-creator] Ryan Murphy, who is so amazing, he came to Kate's house and he said, 'What do you want to do? Whatever you want to do, we'll do.' I said, 'I have to go back to work. We have to . . . they're my family," Lea explained to Ellen.
That work would wind up being among her saving graces. Lea's first solo album comes out in February, and music dedicated to Cory Monteith will appear on it.
Ellen reminded Lea of her 2012 interview with Cory--just about a year ago. He confirmed that he and Michele were a bona fide couple on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
"It's one of my favorite memories," Michele told DeGeneres. "I remember when he came home that night, he kind of puffed out his chest and he was like, 'I talked about you on 'Ellen' today.' I was so happy. He's such a private person, and I literally lived every day of my life feeling like the luckiest girl in the whole world. I just thought he was the greatest man and so at that moment, that memory, it means so much to me."
What a difference a year makes. Lea Michele's life has been immensely changed and a talented young actor and singer is gone. Perhaps one day Lea will make sense out of the tragedy that impacted her so profoundly. Maybe she will do more work in Cory's honor to help keep his memory alive.
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