The real reason Lea didn’t see Michele Glee’s Cory Monteith tribute episode

It’s hard to believe how much time has passed since the tragic death of “Glee” star Cory Monteith. As fans of the series know, the actor died far too early in 2013. At that time he was just 31 years old. The star struggled with substance abuse for some time, and according to Glamor, coroners ruled his cause of death as “mixed drug toxicity, which involved injecting heroin use combined with ingestion of alcohol.”

On the show Autopsy: The Last Hours, Dr. Jason Payne-James details what happened in Monteith’s Vancouver hotel room the night he died. “Cory was tragically unaware that his central nervous system was already compromised from the amount of alcohol he’d consumed throughout the evening,” he shared (via Glamour). At the time, Monteith was starring in the hit series Glee, in which he played Finn Hudson, per IMDb. Monteith began on the show in 2009 and played the role until his death in 2013.

When news of the star’s death broke, celebrity tributes poured in. At the time, the actor was dating his “Glee” co-star Lea Michele, having met on the show’s set. Michele broke her silence about Monteith’s death on Instagram on July 29, 2013. “Thank you all for getting me through this time with your tremendous love and support,” she told fans. Cory will always be in my heart.” Now, Michele shares why she couldn’t see Monteith’s tribute episode.

Lea Michele becomes vulnerable

Cory Monteith’s death has hit many people hard, including his girlfriend Lea Michele. The star, who is currently touring for “An Evening With Lea Michele: Life In Music Tour,” explained to audiences that there’s one episode of “Glee” that she hasn’t seen — the tribute to Corey Monteith, though she played in it. Michele talked about it your decision, and recalled singing Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” in the 2013 tribute episode. “I think when I’m not watching it, it just feels like Finn is still there,” the actor explained. “So that [song] really special.”

She went on to explain how she felt when Ryan Murphy asked her to pick a song for the episode. “I don’t even remember what I heard at the time. Like nothing. I was just in such a hole,” she shared, adding, “I’m grateful for that [Murphy] asked me. I am really, really, really. Because it had to be something that felt real to me, but it was also so hard.” Michele added that when she was filming the episode, she didn’t want to be treated differently, but “wanted to get back to work and be involved to be with everyone” because it made her feel better.

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Since Monteith’s death, Michele seems to have picked up the pieces and tried to move on as best she could. In 2019 she married businessman Zandy Reich.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues, please contact SAMHSA’s 24-hour national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).