Tahj Mowry shared a heartbreaking tribute to Naya Rivera after she went missing during a boating trip on July 8, as is now presumed dead. Mowry calls the Glee star his first love and reveals they dated for four years.
Taking to his Instagram early Saturday, the 34-year-old said that his ex was “his first experience with love.”
“My sweet Naya,” he began the caption of his post, which featured a picture of Rivera. “To say that I am devastated would be an understatement. This is a nightmare. Everyday gets harder. However, I am holding onto hope that you will be found.”
He continued: “We grew up together we became adults together. We experienced so many firsts together. You were my first experience with everything; love, intimacy, heartbreak. We broke each others hearts and then mended them back together…more than once.”
Metro reports that Mowry and Rivera met on the set of Mowry’s ‘90s sitcom Smart Guy and dated between 2000 and 2004.
“I will never not think of you,” he continued. “No woman has ever measured up what you gave me or how you made me feel. I’ve never liked to admit it but I have never stopped loving you. A part of me always wished for the day where God would bring us back together to be what we dreamt we could have been.”
Mowry also offered his emotional support to Rivera’s family and asked his fans to pray she’s found alive.
“Naya, I miss you deeply. I wish I got the chance to tell you that once more but I’m believing I will get that chance,” he wrote. “I know deep down you’ve always known how I felt. I look forward to the day where I can see your beautiful face once more and tell you everything I’ve wanted to say that I didn’t get the chance to say. I love you forever. I always have and I always will.”
Naya Rivera went missing on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 8. She reportedly rented a boat and her four-year-old son, Josey Hollis Dorsey, was found hours later floating in the boat alone.
CBS reports: “The child was said to be unharmed and told investigators that he and his mother were swimming, but his mother never got back into the boat.It was not immediately clear how the child got back into the boat.”
Josey was found in a life vest. An adult life vest was found on the boat.
Capt. Eric Buschow, a spokesman for the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, said at a news conference, “There’s no evidence of foul play at this point. This may well be a case of drowning.”
See Tahj Mowry’s tribute to Naya Rivera below.