Naya Rivera Issues Statement on Cory Monteith, Requests Privacy for Cast

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For the first time since Cory Monteith's passing, a key cast member has spoken out on the actor's shocking death.

"The entire Glee family and I are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Cory was and always will be a part of my own family and a good friend," Naya Rivera said in a statement today, adding:

"He was a special part of this world and will forever be missed. My heart goes out to Cory's family and Lea and while we are grateful for everyone's well wishes, privacy during this time of grief is greatly appreciated."

Finn and Santana on Xmas

Lea Michele released a brief statement through her rep yesterday, while various other co-stars have expressed their shock and sadness via Twitter.

Rivera and Monteith shared many memorable scenes throughout the show's first four seasons, including such collaborative covers as "Like a Virgin" and "The Scientist."

A source close to the set tells E! News, meanwhile, that everyone is simply in shock and it's "too soon" to have any idea how Monteith's dealt with be dealt with on Glee Season 5.

The issue pales in comparison to real-life issues, but it will need to be addressed at some point soon. What do you think the show should do about Finn?

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Glee Quotes

Artie: I thought I was over someone, but I still think I have feelings for them.
Brittany: The Clintons?

I had it all planned out. I was gonna make it big on Broadway and maybe make a Woody Allen movie. And then when we were ready, I would just, come back and he'd be teaching here and I'd walk through those doors and I would just say 'I'm home' and then we would live happily ever after.

Rachel