The work relationship that turned romantic between Glee co-stars Cory Monteith and Lea Michele was cut tragically short when 31-year-old Cory was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room last weekend.
Cory's first cousin Richard Monteith tells Life & Style that the couple had been planning to take their relationship to the next level. "He was supposed to check out of the hotel and that day they found him he was headed back to LA. They were going to move in together this summer when Cory was back from Vancouver and Lea was back from Mexico."
Now, instead of planning their big move, Lea is helping Cory's mother make arrangements for his memorial. She was with his mother, Ann, and brother Shaun when Cory was cremated.
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Richard, an aspiring actor who got support and advice from his cousin, doesn't know how Lea is coping during this difficult time. "I think it's going to be awhile for her to get past this," he says. "He loved her. They were close and they have a great connection. You can see that through the show. That's why they fell in love and they continued on from there. It's tragic for her. He was her life and she was his."
31-year-old Cory's last film, McCanick, is especially eerie for his cousin Richard. "In the movie he plays a user, and it might be like a Heath Ledger thing where he might have been trying to channel that kind of character for the role and it might have been why he relapsed a bit."
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In the meantime, Richard is finding comfort in the letters and emails coming from Cory's fans around the world. "I try to write back to as many as I can a day, but it's hard. I'm getting messages from all over--Mexico, Argentina, Italy, everywhere. People are sending me pictures that they're from Mexico and Argentina and in Brazil with memorials they've made. It's awesome."
"Hopefully Lea is seeing stuff like that," he adds.
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