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Lea Michele deletes Twitter account amid rising tensions and vicious trolling over disappearance of Glee co-star Naya Rivera

Emma Powys Maurice July 13, 2020
Lea Michele

Lea Michele at the 2017 American Music Awards. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Glee‘s Lea Michele has deleted her Twitter account after being trolled over the disappearance of her former co-star, Naya Rivera.

Michele’s account had more than four million followers before it was deleted from Twitter on 11 July. Although she hasn’t confirmed her reasons for leaving Twitter, it came as a number of users urged her to comment on Rivera’s disappearance, with some tagging her directly in abusive messages.

Lea Michele and Naya Rivera are known to have had a problematic relationship and were at the centre of a number of feud rumours when Glee was on the air.

“I don’t hate Lea, and I never have,” Rivera wrote in her 2016 memoir Sorry Not Sorry.

“[But] I think [she] didn’t like sharing the spotlight. She had a hard time separating work from our outside friendship, whereas it was a lot easier for me… Lea was a lot more sensitive, though, and sometimes it seemed like she blamed me for anything and everything that went wrong.”

Michele’s last post on social media was on 3 June when she addressed the allegations of her bad behaviour on the set of Glee.

She came under fire after several of her co-stars claimed she created a “living hell” for them with many incidents of “traumatic micro-aggressions”. She was subsequently dropped as a spokesperson for the food company Hello Fresh.

The actor wrote in response: “Whether it was my privileged position and perspective that caused me to be perceived as insensitive or inappropriate at times or whether it was just my immaturity and me just being unnecessarily difficult, I apologise for my behaviour and for any pain which I have caused.”

Michele has not been active on social media since, and her continued silence amid Rivera’s disappearance was highlighted as several other Glee stars shared their grief and concern.

The day after Michele deleted her account, actor Amber Patrice Riley addressed the trolls in a pointed message: “Show some respect. All our energy is going toward helping find Naya and praying for her safe return and for her family. No one owes anyone online a performance of grief.

“This is very real and devastating. Focus on Naya and her family. Not us. We don’t matter right now.”

Authorities are continuing to search for Rivera’s body in Lake Piru, California, but have listed her as presumed dead. According to captain Eric Buschow of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, “investigators believe Rivera drowned in what appears to be a tragic accident.”

More: Glee, Lea Michele, naya rivera, trolling, Twitter

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