Sunday, August 30, 2015

Lea Michele on coping with Cory Monteith’s death: ‘You have to be very strong to come out of this alive’

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Lea Michele is opening up about the shocking death of her Glee costar and real-life boyfriend, Cory Monteith, in the December issue of Elle.

Looking incredibly glam on the cover, the 27-year-old star reveals that she turned to friend and Glee guest star Kate Hudson during the difficult time.

“I called [Kate Hudson] and said, ‘I don’t know where I’m going to go because my house is swarmed [with reporters].’ She was like, ‘Oh, you’re going to stay at my house.’ Like it was nothing. No one knew I was there. I’ll never really be able to thank her, truly, for what she did for me,” Michele said.

“I never thought I would be in this position in my whole life. Now that I am in this position, you can choose to rise, and that’s what I’m going to try to do. I know that Cory would want nothing more than for me to take this situation and use it to help people,” she added.

And while the the past few months have been traumatic, she says she’s taking the time to heal.

“It’s very hard. And you have to be very strong to come out of this alive, but I think by doing the best for myself, by showing that you don’t have to lose yourself, maybe someone else will feel some sort of strength or comfort,” she said.

Monteith was found dead at age 31 on July 13 in a Vancouver hotel room. Later, toxicology tests revealed that the cause of death was a “mixed drug toxicity” of heroin and alcohol.

Shortly after Monteith passed away, Michele’s rep released a statement on her behalf: “We ask that everyone kindly respect Lea’s privacy during this devastating time.”

In a 2011 interview with Parade, Monteith discussed his struggles with drug and alcohol addiction, revealing that by age 13, he was skipping school to get drunk and smoke pot. By 16, his drug use was “out of control.”

“Anything and everything, as much as possible,” he told Parade’s Shawna Malcom. “I had a serious problem.”

At the time of the interview, Monteith said he felt strong enough to resist any temptations that Hollywood provided.

“I think that I can’t completely rule out any of that happening, but I can’t unlive the life I’ve lived. I can’t unlearn what I’ve learned either. I feel like I have a safeguard in a way. I feel like I’m kind of Hollywood-proof. Considering everything I’ve gone through, I feel like I’ve already been there and done that lifestyle to the nth degree. It’s not interesting to me anymore. What’s interesting to me is chasing my endeavors and seeing where this all goes and exploring opportunities. All the other stuff—it doesn’t have the same shine.

“I really got to know myself through a lot of that self-destruction. I had to go very deep into myself and rebuild a lot of what I had taken apart, and that process is strengthening, that process is grounding. That doesn’t go away. That’s the foundation this is all built on now, and I feel stable. I feel happy. I like myself. I love my job. It just so happens that I fell into doing something that I enjoy—the drums and the music and acting and all that stuff. I love it. I love it a lot.”

Read more from Monteith’s candid interview here

Erin Hill
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