Glee alum Naya Rivera went missing on July 8, 2020, at California’s Lake Piru after a day of boating with her then-4-year-old son, Josey. Authorities found Josey alone on the boat rental, and after days of searching for the actor, her body was found. ET Online reported that, per the death certificate, her official cause of death was drowning. The star was laid to rest on July 24, 2020, at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles at a private funeral with a small number of people, the outlet noted.

Following the tragic turn of events, Josey, and his father, Ryan Dorsey, Naya’s ex-husband, started to figure out their new normal, and that reportedly included a change to their living arrangements. In September 2020, the news broke that two supposedly moved in with Nickayla Rivera, Naya’s younger sister, who celebrated her 26th birthday in November 2019. Per the Daily Mail‘s report, they’re living in a three-bedroom rental home with a pool in the backyard, and a supposed eyewitness claimed that Nickayla and Dorsey got photographed holding hands during a shopping trip to Target on Sept. 19, 2020. The shopper claimed, “They seem really comfortable together and are obviously helping each other through a very difficult period in both their lives.” The source added, “They were fooling around and chatting the whole time. They’re obviously helping lift each other’s spirits.”

Unfortunately, Dorsey and Nickayla have faced criticism following the report — here’s what that they had to say about the negative speculation.

Ryan Dorsey reveals what Nickayla means to his son

Ryan Dorsey addressed discussed moving in with Naya Rivera’s sister Nickayla in an emotional video that he posted on Sept. 29, 2020. The Ray Donovan actor said, “It was brought to my attention that people have a lot to say and have opinions on a family’s tragic situation.” He admitted that he doesn’t normally read comments from strangers, but he saw some recently. He said, “There’s people making judgments, making assumptions, and sending terrible messages.” He described the comments as “really insane.”

Dorsey said it was “truly sad” that social media users thought it was “OK to spew hatred in general,” but especially amid a tragedy. He revealed that he had lost “a little over 20 pounds,” he’s had trouble sleeping, and that he goes “to sleep sad every night.” During his grief, he thought about “how lucky [he] is to have his] mom” at this time, only to realize that Josey “won’t have the same opportunity in his future,” which makes him feel “beyond sad.”

He revealed Josey said about Nickayla, “‘I want Titi to live with us forever.” The Justified actor said Nickayla is “now the closest thing that he has to a mom.” He explained why he thought it was the best decision, sharing, “you’re going to need all the help you can get as a single parent trying to build your career and navigate this disaster with your child.”

Ryan Dorsey called out 'disrespectful' fans

In his Instagram video, Ryan Dorsey praised Nickayla Rivera as a woman who is “willing to put her life on hold and sacrifice things, uproot her situation for the betterment of [his] child.” The actor admitted that having Nickayla in the house means that he doesn’t have to “always be alone with [his] thoughts.” He shared, “At least you have someone with you to talk to or just sit in silence and be sad with.”

Reflecting on his son Josey’s request for Nickayla to move in, Dorsey said, “After all that he’s had to go through, how could you deny him that? Because of what? Because of what some strangers might think or say?” 

He also called out the people who managed to get a photo at a specific angle of “two people who have been grieving,” arguing that sending pics to the media is “disrespectful.” He even slammed the Daily Mail and The Sun for “creating such absurd narratives” about his relationship with Nickayla.

Nickayla Rivera isn't worried about her critics

Naya Rivera’s younger sister, Nickayla, explained why she decided to move in with Ryan and Josey Dorsey in an Instagram Story that she shared on Sept. 30, 2020. People reported that she wrote, “In the darkest time of my life, the only thing that is important is my friends & family.”

The model explained that she is “showing up for [her] nephew even though [she] can’t show up for [herself].” Nickayla did not get super specific regarding the tabloid rumors about her relationship with Dorsey, stating, “I’m not concerned with the ways things look because no one can see each agonizing moment we all endure.” She concluded, “What matters most I’ve learned, is to show compassion, not to judge others and never take a moment for granted. I hope you all can do the same.”

Life is already very tough for this family, so hopefully, these messages from Dorsey and Nickayla will keep the critics at bay.

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