“This is so unfair,” he began his lengthy statement on Instagram. “There’s not enough words to express the hole left in everyone’s hearts. I can’t believe this is life now. I don’t know if I’ll ever believe it. You were just here … We were just in the back swimming with Josey the day before. Life just isn’t fair. I don’t know what to say.”
“I’m thankful for our times and our journey that brought us together and gave us the sweetest and kindest smart little boy we could ever hope for,” he continued. “I remember sometimes you used to get annoyed at me: ‘Ryan, can you stop snapchatting!’ Haha. I’m glad I didn’t listen to you because I have hundreds and probably thousands of snaps and videos that Josey will have forever and know his momma loved him more than life and how much fun we had together as he was growing up.”
“Life is all about good times and bad times but with Josey, it makes the bad a little less so because a part of you will always be with us,” the actor wrote. “He’ll never forget where he came from. We miss you. We will always love you. Love you, Meep.”
In closing, Ryan thanked everyone who reached out for their love and support. “Be kind to yourself, be kind to others, forgive … forget … don’t hold grudges,” he concluded. “If you have nothing nice to say maybe try not to say anything. There’s peace in silence. Time on Earth is precious and you just never know … you never know what could happen. Hold your loved ones close, and cherish the times you have with those you care about.”
Rivera was reported missing on Wednesday, July 8, after their son, Josey, was found alone on a boat on Lake Piru in Ventura County, California, Life & Style confirmed. She rented the boat three hours prior and was seen on security footage alone with her toddler. The 4-year-old allegedly told investigators he and his mother went swimming, but the actress never returned to the boat.
“At about 4 p.m., the 4-year-old boy was found by another boater, and he was by himself,” Ventura County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, Captain Eric Buschow, said. “That boater contacted rangers at the lake. We were notified and the search began. Helicopters immediately flew out with the dive team and put divers in the water where she was last seen.”
The Ventura County police department suspended their search at 10:30 p.m. due to visibility but continued looking for the Sorry Not Sorry author the next morning. “The lake will be closed to the public while search operations continue. Dive teams from throughout the region will be assisting us through mutual aid,” a tweet from the department read on Thursday, July 9. The same day, authorities announced they shifted their efforts from a rescue to a recovery mission. Her body was recovered from the lake on July 13. The next day, her cause of death was determined to be accidental drowning by the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Rivera and Dorsey quietly got married in July 2014. Their surprise nuptials came just three months after her engagement to Big Sean ended. The Devious Maids star filed for divorce in November 2016 but filed to dismiss the request in September 2017. However, their rekindled romance didn’t last long because the Santa Clarita native filed again the following December.
They had some drama during the last year of their marriage. Rivera was arrested and charged with misdemeanor domestic battery in West Virginia after her ex reported she struck him on the head and lip while walking with their son. Alcohol played a factor in the incident, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office said at the time. The charges were dropped in January 2018.
“This is a difficult time for everyone in the family, especially for Naya and I,” the Blood Father actor tweeted after the incident. “This isn’t some reality show, this is our life … Treat us/this situation how you would want a loved one to be treated. Perhaps with kindness, respect, without judgment, and as negative a situation like this is, with positivity and love. Thanks.”
The Hollywood stars welcomed their son in 2015 and agreed to joint legal and physical custody of Josey in 2019. It’s unclear whether Dorsey will take full legal custody of his son following Rivera’s death.