Learn everything about Naya Rivera, Big Sean’s ex girlfriend and actress on the hit TV shows ‘Glee’ and ‘Devious Maids’ including her overall net worth.
- 1 Who is Naya Rivera, Big Sean’s Ex Girlfriend?
- 2 Early Life and Career
- 3 ‘Glee,’ ‘Glee: The 3D Concert Movie’ and Stardom
- 4 ‘At The Devil’s Door’ and ‘Devious Maids’
- 5 Rivera’s Memoir, Complete with Stories About Being Big Sean’s Ex-Girlfriend
- 6 Naya Rivera’s Relationships: Ex- Girlfriend of Mark Salling, Big Sean and Ryan Dorsey
- 7 Naya Rivera’s Net Worth
- 8 Religion and Charity
- 9 Big Sean’s Ex Girlfriend’s Future Projects
Who is Naya Rivera, Big Sean’s Ex Girlfriend?
Naya Rivera is a 31 year old American actress, best known for her role in the Fox musical comedy, ‘Glee.’ She is also known for her parts in ‘The Master of Disguise,’ ‘Devious Maids,’ ‘Glee: The 3D Concert Movie,’ and ‘At The Devil’s Door.’ Rivera’s relationship with Big Sean caused quite a stir in 2014, and she became known for being one of his many ex girlfriends. His other ex-girlfriends include Ariana Grande and Ashley Marie.
Early Life and Career
Naya Marie Rivera was born in 1987 in Santa Clarita, California. Her mother, Yolanda, is a former model, so she decided to have her daughter become one as well. She signed Rivera up with a management company at about eight months of age. Rivera has a brother, Mychal, and a sister Nickayla. Mychal is an NFL tight end with the Oakland Raiders, and Nickayla is a runway model. Rivera is of Puerto Rican, African American, and German descent. She has spoken about her mixed race heritage before, and says she is glad to be representing mixed raced people on television. Rivera has been featured in ‘Latina Magazine’ several times, and has received American Latino Media Arts Awards. In an interview with ‘Latina Magazine,’ Rivera explained that her racial ambiguity used to hold her back, and that “Casting directors didn’t understand what [she] was.”
It used to hold me back when I was younger. Casting directors didn’t understand what I was. I wasn’t black enough, or Latina enough—I kind of fell through the cracks.
Naya Rivera in an interview with ‘Latina Magazine’ on her mixed race heritage
‘The Master of Disguise’ and Other Small Roles
Rivera started modelling as a baby, appearing in campaigns for KMart. When she was four, she played Hillary Winston on the sitcom ‘The Royal Family,’ for which she received a Young Artists Award nomination. She continued making small appearances on a number of television shows throughout her childhood, including ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,’ ‘Baywatch’ and ‘Even Stevens.’ Her first film role was in 2002 in ‘The Master of Disguise.’ She had a small role in ‘The Master of Disguise,’ a Dana Carvey adventure-comedy. ‘The Master of Disguise’ was reviewed poorly, and is actually on several lists as one of the worst movies ever made. Child stars Dylan and Cole Sprouse, Jessica Simpson, and Bo Derek also appear in ‘The Master of Disguise.’ In 2002, she began appearing as a guest on ‘The Bernie Mac Show,’ and the writers decided to bring her back for a total of 11 episodes throughout the series. In between jobs, she worked as a greeter at Abercrombie and Fitch and a waitress at Hooters.
‘Glee,’ ‘Glee: The 3D Concert Movie’ and Stardom
She continued booking small roles until 2009, when she auditioned for ‘Glee.’ Rivera was intrigued by the casting notice that listed she would have to sing, dance and act for the part. She was cast as Santana Lopez, the mean spirited cheerleader in the musical comedy show. Rivera had a recurring role in the first season, but was upgraded to a series regular for the subsequent five seasons. Her role as Santana evolved with the popularity of the show. ‘Glee’ was an enormous success with a mostly teenage audience and became known for its depiction of LGBTQ characters and other people traditionally considered outsiders. Santana’s original purpose on the series was as a villain, though she was also cast a comic foil to her best friend, ditzy cheerleader Brittany, played by Heather Morris. Both of them were sidekicks to head cheerleader Quinn Fabray, played by Diana Agron. In season two, Rivera and Morris both became series regulars, and started getting more interesting story lines. Santana’s most prominent, celebrated and memorable story line begins in season two when she discovers that she has romantic feelings for Brittany. Over the course of the season it is revealed that her tendency to bully comes from her hiding the fact that she is a lesbian. She confesses her feelings to Brittany, who returns them, and the two become an official couple. Santana is also outed by a friend at school, and then struggles with coming out to her family. She and Brittany eventually break up, but the ex girlfriends get back together in the final season. Rivera has been publicly supportive of the story line, saying that she thinks Brittany is Santana’s soul mate. ‘Glee’ earned Rivera critical acclaim, awards and stardom. The show was huge success, drawing in viewers and selling singles. All of the original cast was made up of previously unknown, young actors, and they all became instant stars. Rivera, Morris, Agron, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and Chris Colfer among others all became popular Hollywood stars. Santana’s coming out storyline was particularly well reviewed by critics, who were impressed with the handling of the material. Santana and Brittany were often comic relief, so the transition to their storyline was heartfelt and emotional did not go unnoticed. During her run on ‘Glee,’ Rivera won three American Latino Media Arts Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Her ALMA awards were won in 2011 and 2012. She won for Favorite Female Musical Artist in 2011, and the same award in 2012, along with Favorite TV Actress in a comedy. She shares her 2010 SAG award with the rest of the ‘Glee’ cast, when they won for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a comedy series. The entire ‘Glee’ cast, including Rivera, were nominated for the Ensemble award for three consecutive years after their win, from 2011 to 2013. ‘Glee’ itself has won six Emmys and four Golden Globes; the Emmys were for casting, directing, guest appearances and Outstanding Supporting Actress for Jane Lynch. The Golden Globes were for Best Television Comedy, Best Supporting Actor for Chris Colfer, and Best Supporting Actress for Jane Lynch.
‘Glee: The 3D Concert Movie’
Following the immense success of ‘Glee,’ the cast went on a concert tour. After the sold out tour, a documentary of the experience was released, called ‘Glee: The 3D Concert Movie.’ ‘Glee: The 3D Concert Movie’ made $18 million dollars, combining concert footage with behind the scenes video and interviews with kids who were affected positively by the message of ‘Glee.’ ‘Glee: The 3D Concert Movie’ was primarily filmed at the concert date in East Rutheford, New Jersey, and was entirely shot in 3D.
Her Song Featuring Big Sean
In 2011, while she was still on ‘Glee,’ Rivera was signed to Columbia Records, reportedly to do a solo album. A single, called ‘Sorry’ featuring rapper and future boyfriend Big Sean, was released in 2013, but performed poorly. In 2014, Columbia dropped Rivera from the label.
‘At The Devil’s Door’ and ‘Devious Maids’
Her next acting job came in 2015, in a film called ‘At The Devil’s Door.’ Rivera stars in ‘At The Devil’s Door’ as a woman named Vera, caught in the middle of supernatural events. The horror film premiered at South by Southwest in 2014. ‘At The Devil’s Door’ was moderately received, but Rivera’s acting was praised. Critics remarked that she had better material to work with on ‘Glee’ than in ‘At the Devil’s Door.’ Rivera began appearing on Lifetime’s drama series ‘Devious Maids’ in 2015. The show started in 2013, and it was about the lives four Latina maids in Beverly Hills, California. Rivera played the recurring role of Blanca Alvarez in ‘Devious Maids’s third season for a four episode arc. ‘Devious Maids’ stars Ana Ortiz, Dania Ramirez, Roselyn Sanchez, Judy Reyes, Rebecca Wisocky, Grant Show, Tom Irwin, and soap opera star Susan Lucci. Her most recent role has been in a YouTube Red series called ‘Step Up: High Water.’ The newest part of the ‘Step Up’ series, the show follows twins who start at a new high school called High Water. This time, Rivera plays a high school administrator rather than one of the students. The series includes many dance sequences, so Rivera can exhibit more than one of her talents.
Rivera’s Memoir, Complete with Stories About Being Big Sean’s Ex-Girlfriend
In 2016, Rivera released a tell all memoir called ‘Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes and Growing Up.’ The book goes into detail about her time on ‘Glee,’ romances, and everything else in her life. She writes about raucous parties thrown with the ‘Glee’ cast, and about witnessing co-star Cory Monteith’s addiction. Monteith tragically overdosed on heroin in 2013 at age 31 after battling substance abuse for most of his life. Rivera notes in ‘Sorry Not Sorry’ that she almost never saw him drink, but became much more distanced from him after the start of his relationship with Lea Michele. The ‘Glee’ cast was made up of a lot of partiers; Rivera recalls naming cast members’ Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz’s house ‘The Love Nest’ and that hookups were common. She implies that she may have hooked up with co-star Chord Overstreet as well. She notes in her memoir that she and Michele are not on good terms. Rivera writes that Michele has a problem taking criticism and sharing the spotlight. According to Rivera, the two barely spoke throughout the last few seasons of ‘Glee,’ and that Michele started being cold with her after she was promoted to a series regular. Rivera even almost got fired from the show after pointing out that a producer was doing a poor job of running the set when Michele threw a fit over some animals being on set. Rivera also writes about her struggle with anorexia in high school in the memoir. She writes in detail about her experiences and how she was able to turn herself around with the right people and attitude. She also opens up about her boob job that she got at 18 and the fact that she still loves it, even to this day! Rivera says it was a great decision that still makes her happy.
Her biggest revelation in the memoir is about her abortion. When she was dating Ryan Dorsey for the first time, she was still on ‘Glee.’ Weeks after they broke up, she found out she was pregnant and decided to have an abortion. She and her mother snuck off to a Planned Parenthood in Pasadena, California wearing wigs and sunglasses so no one would recognize them. Rivera cites this as an extremely painful experience, not only physically, but mentally. She writes that it was far from easy, and that afterwards she was jealous of women who were able to keep their babies.
Naya Rivera’s Relationships: Ex- Girlfriend of Mark Salling, Big Sean and Ryan Dorsey
Naya Rivera’s personal life has been the cause of much media attention since her rise to stardom in 2009. During the first few years of ‘Glee,’ she dated co-star Mark Salling on and off. They kept the relationship under wraps, but she broke it off after finding out he was cheating on her. The end of their relationship caused a stir with the press alleging that she keyed his car. Rivera claims that she and a friend poured bird seed and Coca-Cola on his car, but did not do permanent damage. Salling is now deceased, having committed suicide earlier this year. He was the subject of a pending court investigation, after authorities found child pornography on his computer.
Her relationship with Big Sean
In 2013, she started a highly publicized relationship with rapper Big Sean. The couple announced that they were engaged in 2014, but broke it off and ended the relationship. While they were dating, Sean included rhymes about her in his songs, even rapping on Drake’s single ‘All Me,’ “my new girl on Glee and shit, probably making more money than me and shit.” After they broke up, he released the infamous hit ‘IDFWU,’ widely believed to be about their relationship. In the final verse, he sings, “every day I wake up celebrating shit, why? ‘Cause I just dodged a bullet from a crazy bitch.” The women in the ‘IDFWU’ music video wear red and white cheerleading uniforms, similar to Rivera’s character in ‘Glee.’ Near the end of their relationship, Rivera caught him hanging out with pop singer Ariana Grande when he was supposedly out of town. Later, she ended up tweeting about him taking her watch in an angry moment, and he responded by putting out a press release that they had broken up. Her instinct about Grande proved to be correct, as she and Sean ended up dating for the better part of a year after the end of the engagement. Sean is now in a relationship with singer Jhene Aiko, and Grande is with rapper Mac Miller.
Her marriage to Ryan Dorsey
In 2014, Rivera rekindled an old romance with actor Ryan Dorsey, and the couple married later that year. Their first child, a boy named Josey, was born in September 2015. In November 2016, Rivera filed for divorce, but the couple called off the separation in 2017. Later in the year, Rivera was arrested in West Virginia for misdemeanor and domestic battery against her husband, who she allegedly hit in the head and face. The fight broke out after she allegedly let go of their son’s stroller after acting strangely. Dorsey called the police saying that Rivera was getting physical and out of control, but dropped the charges after she was arrested. A month later, she re-filed for divorce. Dorsey and Rivera currently have joint custody of their son.
Naya Rivera’s Net Worth
Rivera’s net worth is estimated at $5 million. Her net worth may be effected by her upcoming divorce. Ryan Dorsey’s net worth is currently unknown. Rivera recently spent $2.6 million dollars on a new home in Los Angeles.
Religion and Charity
Rivera had a religious upbringing but rarely talks about it. She says it leads people to question her career choices, and her playing a lesbian on television. Rivera has said she is proud to be play an ethnic lesbian character, because there are not enough of them on television. Although not outspoken about her own sexual orientation, Rivera has alluded to the possibility of her being bisexual before in interviews. She has however clarified that she has never been in a relationship with a woman. She donates money and time to several charities, including GLAAD, The Trevor Project and Stand Up to Cancer. Rivera has hosted the GLAAD Media Awards twice, by herself in 2011, with ‘Glee’ co star Cory Monteith in 2012. In 2012, she and Monteith started the tradition of auctioning off kisses from each of them to raise more money, and succeeded in raising $15,000. She also performed at Trevor!Live in 2012. Rivera appeared in a short film PSA with Guillermo Diaz about issues with immigration in the United States in 2014. The film addressed young dreamers, and Rivera’s part was specifically about issues that immigrants face after coming to the US.
Big Sean’s Ex Girlfriend’s Future Projects
In March 2018, Rivera posted a video on her instagram announcing that she would be auditioning for Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’ remake. In fact, the video wasn’t just the announcement; it was the audition! Captioning the video with: “@unitedtalentagency file was too big to send via email for my audition. Thought I’d try it this way,” she set off an army of fans hoping that she would land the role of Anita. The role was originally played by Rita Moreno, in the 1961 version of the film.