Lea Michele on Cory Monteith’s death: ‘working is no harder than being at home’

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Lea Michele was on Ellen yesterday, where she really opened up about how she dealt with grief and loss following her boyfriend, Cory Monteith’s death this year. Before we cover more about Lea’s interview, which is above, I want to get it out of the way that I disagree with rumors that Cory and Lea were a showmance. Those story were based on a blind item, and as a gossip blogger I know that many blind items are made up. Some are accurate and based on solid leads, but many are made up. So I don’t think it’s fair to Lea to trot those out, especially based on how well she seems to be coping in the wake of Cory’s death. People handle grief differently, Lea definitely has a type A personality, and on Ellen I think Lea really explained herself well.

Lea said that, for her, being home and being reminded of Cory daily was harder than going to work and being distracted, basically. She also said that she was so grateful to Kate Hudson (who guested on Glee) for letting Lea and her family stay at Kate’s home right after Cory died in July. It was easier for Lea not be surrounded by memories of Cory. The interview touched me and I got the impression that Lea was working hard to hold it together. She’s an actress, though, she’s skilled at presenting herself and that’s important to her. Here’s some of what she said:

On Kate Hudson letting her stay at her house
She was so wonderful to basically give me her home to myself and my family. It was so helpful to just basically have a safe place to process and to just have a minute to breathe before getting back to my house which has a lot of memories and stuff. So, being some place else to just have a moment was really nice.

On the paparazzi hunting her
It’s pretty intense and then if you smile, ‘she’s so happy!’ and then if you look sad like ‘she’s terrible.’ It’s really hard there’s so many emotions, and to have people watching every step of the way.

On going back to work on Glee
Ryan Murphy came to Kate’s house and said ‘what do you want to do?’ I said ‘I have to go back to work… they’re my family.’ What people also don’t understand is that going to work is no harder than being at home. And being in the house and opening up a closet and seeing a pair of shoes. Grief goes with you every day, whatever you’re doing… So I’d rather be at work with the people that I love that are going through the same thing… At the end of the day, I feel so safe there.

On people saying she’s strong
I really feel like I’m still trying to figure out all of this. It’s been only a few months, but my mom has experienced a lot of loss in her life and she told me ‘there is an empowerment that comes with grief. At some point you find it.’ It’s very hard, but you will find it. I think that at a certain point you can chose to either fall from this or you can chose to rise and that’s what I’m just trying to do my best for him because I know that’s what he would have wanted.

[From The Ellen show via Huffington Post]

The stuff about seeing Cory’s shoes really got me. That’s almost exactly what a friend of mine said years ago when her husband died in a car accident. She said that she saw his giant shoes under the bed and kept expecting him to come back. She was a lot like Lea, she seemed so pulled together after a tragedy and I was struck by how practical she was.

Ellen shared a saying that “when your heart is broken the cracks let the light in.” Then they talked about how Cory revealed, for the first time on Ellen, that he was seeing Lea. Lea blushed while recalling how Cory told her the story at home that day, and how happy she was because he was usually so private. She said “I literally lived every day of my life feeling like the luckiest girl in the whole world. I just thought he was the greatest man. At that moment, that memory, means so much to me.




Lea Michele is shown on the Glee set on 9-9-13, with Cory on 8-19-12 at an event and 1-1-13 in Hawaii, and at an Elle event on 10-22-13. Credit: WENN.com and FameFlynet

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50 Responses to “Lea Michele on Cory Monteith’s death: ‘working is no harder than being at home’”

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  1. Aims says:

    I think they were the real thing. I am also a type A person. I would rather work then sit around and think about things, so I can’t fault her at all. I just couldn’t imagine the shock she went through. Sad.

  2. Nicolette says:

    I’m sorry, I just can’t with this girl for some reason.

  3. bsh says:

    I wish she would just shut up about Cory’s death. Of course they will always ask her, but she has the faculty to kindly decline any request for a comment. We all know by now that they were nothing more than good friends and it’s just embarassing.

    • Esti says:

      Wow, what a nasty comment. We don’t “know” anything about their relationship — tabloid rumors don’t mean anything, and the people who actually knew him, including his family, sure seem to think that they were dating. And it’s not like she’s given a billion interviews about his death, she spent several months saying nothing at all to the press. I don’t blame her for wanting to talk about him, especially when she’s already been forced to grieve in the public eye.

      • bsh says:

        I apologise, maybe I didn’t express myself correctly. Not all of us know, not of all of us believe that, but I do believe they were a fake couple, as dozens of other couples in the show business. This doesn’t mean what I believe is true, I just stand by my position. I have never watched Glee, I only know about them from gossip sites. I have never felt that their union was genuine, it all seemed posed, unnatural. They gave me this vibe. Now, this does not mean they did not like each other, I think they were good friends who enjoyed each other’s company. This might have made the agreement smoother on their part. The fact that Blindgossip had several blinds about them just confirmed my pre-existent belief. I am not that naïve, I don’t buy everything gossip sites want to sell us, if that was the case, I would not fall for all those conspiracy-theories! I just wanted to express my annoyance, I think it would be pretty sad and creepy if I was right and these people were stuck with such a lie forever.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      “We all know by now that they were nothing more than good friends and it’s just embarrassing”


      • Erinn says:

        There was a lot of talk about them dating for ratings; they were attempting a Bella/Edward scenario. It made the Gleeks freak out because it was life imitating art, good publicity for the both of them. Lot’s of people don’t believe they were anything more than good friends who used each other to boost their careers.
        There were actually rumblings of her dating an older guy around the same time Cory passed.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Oh wow really? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised (if it’s true)…but I am for some reason.
        They’re decent actors because I thought they were the real deal.

      • OliveW says:

        Oh God! That “older” guy she was “dating” around the time Cory died was Jonathan Groff! Her best friend, who’s gay btw.
        They went on a hotel for a weekend getaway together and those stupid and untruthful blind itens made it up to be something more. Girl is having a tough enough time without people making things up about her

      • sauvage says:

        Even if it were true: Grieving the loss of a good friend is no picknick either, you know!

    • Ck13 says:

      Well if everyone knows it than it must be true!

      • turningviolet says:

        we all ‘know; because some blind gossip site says so? the self same site that has posted blinds about fake Jonas baby, Beyonce’s 2 babies (surrogate and own) which never materialised, Jonas sex tape to name but a few. Yeah, I think we might need a little bit more evidence than that.

        i thought she came over very genuine in the interview. Of course she’s going to be asked about Cory – she’s not going to avoid that. And like others say, she’s damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t.

        And for those that say she needs to stop going on about it – I wish you all well when a loved one of yours dies and you’re told to stop talking about it just 5 months later (this was i think her first tv interview since he died).

  4. Patricia says:

    People should not be judged for how they grieve. It’s personal and private. Some people grieve in front of others, some put on a strong face and then fall to the floor when they are alone. It’s sad that she was judged for how she grieved, and is grieving. When I lost a close family member I used to hide in the basement and sob alone, never wanted to show anyone my grief. One of my uncles turned into a robot and the family thought he wasn’t affected but who knows what he did alone.

    • IzzyB says:

      My Dad died 13 years ago and everyone thought my Mum didn’t care because she picked up and carried on fast. We’ve moved 6 times since then and she always bought his slippers and put them by “his” side of the bed with each move.

      It was the last move a few months ago when she put them in a box at the back of her wardrobe. That was a deep 13 year grief only we got to see.

      My heart goes out to her. It doesn’t matter if it was a showmance, she lost someone she was incredibly close to. That hurts no matter what.

  5. Rhiley says:


    Even if there relationship was a “showmance,” and I don’t think it was, to unexpectedly lose somebody that rooted in your life is very painful. Cory will always be a part of Lea.

  6. Summer says:

    I really admire how she handled herself. I would never be able to do that. Rip cory

  7. RedSoxGirl says:

    I think it comes down to 2 factors: 1, she is a strong girl, but more importantly, when you date an addict you prepare yourself for it. I recently left a 7 year relationship with an addict I’ve known for over 20. I’ve been with him during the darkest parts of his addiction, through rehab and the following relapse before I made the tough choice to go. I know that I will most likely get a call saying my ex has overdosed and one part of you will be absolutely gutted, but if you spend enough time with an addict in your life you in a sick way mentally prepare for the other shoe to drop.

    • Monkey Towz says:

      @ redsoxgirl, similar situation w/me. My ex & I had been broken up for 11 years when he died. We remained friends & I’m close to his brother. My friends were worried about me
      b/c I wasn’t “really grieving” but I had 11 years to prepare for his death. He will always be a big part of who I am, but you can’t save people who don’t want to be saved. It sucks.

  8. Missfit says:

    If she looks too happy, people will talk. If she looks sad, people will talk. That’s true! So if she talks about Cory or his death, it will bother people. If she doesn’t talk about him, it will still bother people. Damned if she does, damned if she don’t. She seems genuine and sincere to me. She can’t please everybody.

  9. Sayrah says:

    I’m very sorry for her loss but she’s idolizing him in death. He couldn’t have possibly been so perfect with that drug addiction. Could she be honest and say I’m angry at him for putting drugs above me and his family?

    • Summer says:

      He made a mistake that cost his life. I think that’s enough reason to forgive him.
      Go see his interviews on ellen. He was quite adorable.

    • gayle says:

      This has been my line of thinking. Most of them avoid talking about how he died or just allude to it by saying “please don’t judge him” and I find this rather dishonest I guess. I am sorry for her loss but I think I would have more respect if she would in some way acknowledge how he died instead of whitewashing over it which is what it seems like to me.

    • Samtha says:

      Maybe she does feel that anger but is she really supposed to say it on tv?

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Seriously. The guy died.
        She’s supposed to publicly condemn him for being an addict and dying from his addiction? Not only would that be callous and cruel, but it wouldn’t be a great PR move considering how strong the Glee fanbase is–plus she has Corey’s family’s feelings to think about. I see nothing wrong with her remembering the best parts of him, and keeping the dark things private.

        Sometimes we act like we’re all entitled to a celeb’s private feelings on something as personal as a loved one dying, but we’re really not.

      • nico says:

        Some of these comments remind me of the criticism Michelle Williams faced after Heath’s death. People were calling her the “Widow Ledger”, and accusing her of using his name to come across sympathetic.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Nico-don’t even get me started on that..I’ll cop to being a diehard Michelle Williams fan, but even objectively–fandom aside–those comments couldn’t have been more unfair.

        Williams literally could NOT have handled that situation better. She was as low-key as she could possibly be.

    • m says:

      You do understand that the reason he died was because he had been clean since rehab and he had such a low tolerance, right? He messed up and unfortunately it was fatal, but its not fair to say that his death is being covred up by his friends just because they dont want to talk about it. And his death has not been glamourized, I was watching the news recently and a 20 year old girl said she quit using because of him, because she realized that anyone can die and his death made her realize that shes not invincible. Even though Cory lost his life, he has saved a few as well.

  10. respect says:

    I think she handled a difficult situation with grace and she did everything to respect his memory, of course the media is always going to ask her about him but I think she dealt with it beautifully

  11. INeedANap says:

    I don’t believe they were fully a showmance. I do think the studio may have encouraged them to be more public and lovey-dovey about it, but I think the affection — romantic or simply good friends — was real. And losing someone close to you is always hard.
    Everyone grieves differently. For a type A, drive, and ambitious person, powering through the grief and continuing the routine may actually help her process her grief; it’s as if feeling like if she can continue on, then his death hasn’t ended her chance for happiness.

  12. Jayna says:

    Liam Neeson said getting back on set was effective for him. Those hours he could focus on something more than just his pain and grief. Of course, the first movie, the one where he was in the middle of shooting when Natasha died, Chloe, and he went back onset to finish, you could see it in his performance. He wasn’t the main character, though, so wasn’t as important.

  13. Lark says:

    I feel so bad for her, especially with the paps harassing her and everything when she was grieving. SMH at the people going on about those awful blind items being true, they went up to Canada together to visit his family a few times, they were photographed out together a lot, they seemed to spend a lot of time together…there was nothing hinky like there is sometimes with showmances (when actors go months without seeing each other, for example). BG and ENTY (who was busted as being a fake and called out on twitter by Jane Lynch too) are wrong 98% of the time, and they often go back and “change” a vague blind item to make it fit a situation.

    Anyway, I understand why she wanted to keep working. Liam Neeson felt the same way about getting back on set reportedly.

    • nico says:

      It’s sad so many people are quick to believe those shady sites. I read gossip for fun, but I don’t believe most of it. CDAN is one of the trashiest and most unreliable sites out there. I’m surprised at the seemingly intelligent people that believe that nonsense.

  14. Lori says:

    Greif aside………which I think she is handling gracefully in public……what did everyone think of her song? I don’t watch Glee so I was actually expecting something amazing. But I thought her performance and song were terrible.

  15. mariaj says:

    For the record, the site that wrote that she and Monteith had a fake relationship, showed a letter in wich i don’t remember which Fox boss ( i think?) asked her to say certain things on tv, to make people believe in their ” romance”And is not just that site that sayd that she and Cory just pretended. Anyway, i agree with those who sayd that while they were NOT real, he was a dear friend of her, there was real affection, there, just not more than that. And i agree with those that think that there is something odd, about her, and while she has talent for sure, she is irritating, in her trying too much.

    • Lark says:

      You realize that sites make things up? Even “letters” and “texts” at times? You remember how Radar got fooled by those faux Britney texts? People are so gullible. Even if such a thing was real (and it wasn’t in this case), they would never put it down in writing.

      • mariaj says:

        could you make me an example in wich Bg ” made things up”? I am not saying things that they wrote that have not been confirmed, just things that have been proved fake or ” made up” And, before accuse people being ” gullible” for believing a thing that has been published maybe YOU should prove that is fake, cause til now nobody has done such thing.

      • mariaj says:

        ” Even if such a thing was real (and it wasn’t in this case), they would never put it down in writing. ” oh, please, as there are not fake relationship with contracts, with WRITTEN rules, ,and then, are we talking about spies stories, in wich if the one having the proof is caught, then he has to swallow the venom that has hidden in his teeth? Come on, yes, there is secrecy, but is not a dead or alive situation.

  16. Jessica says:

    Even though I believe their romantic relationship was fake, I’m sure loosing a close friend and co star is very very very hard.

  17. eatingpie says:

    How much of a punch in the gut it must be for Lea that so many people are lowering the love she and Cory felt towards each other without substantial proof?

  18. Fiona says:

    As someone who lost a boyfriend unexpectedly, I can relate to what Lea said about coping. I was in my first semester of grad school when my boyfriend died, and having school to distract me was exactly what I needed to get through the first year and beyond. Grief is different for everyone, but for some, diving right back into your work doesn’t mean you didn’t care — it’s just a different way of getting through the days.

  19. Caroline says:

    Their entire relationship was so fake. I couldn’t see any emotional attachment between the two of them beyond being friends.