In the past eight months, Hollywood lost actors Cory Monteith and Philip Seymour Hoffman to overdoses as the stars grappled with addiction. But in the case of the Glee lead -- just 31 years old when he died in July -- his costar and former girlfriend Lea Michele wants the world to know that her late love was much more than his struggles.
“I only have happy memories of Cory. He was not his addiction – unfortunately, it won," she admitted in the April 2014 cover story for Seventeen Magazine. "But that wasn’t who he was. Cory made me feel like a queen every day. From the minute he said, ‘I’m your boyfriend,’ I loved every day, and I thank him for being the best boyfriend and making me feel so beautiful.”
Before his death, Monteith admitted to struggling with heroin addiction, entering rehab several times. His cause of death was a lethal combination of heroin and alcohol.
The actress, 27, who just released her first solo studio album Louder, has spent the months since Monteith's death coming to terms with her painful loss and pouring her heart into her music.
“I set out to make a really pop-heavy album that was fun and empowering, but then I found myself picking and writing these songs that were very emotional and dramatic," Michele revealed. "Louder has songs that express extreme love and some pain. I look at it and think, That was my year. I didn’t record any songs that I didn’t completely relate to.”
Michele's Louder features the heartbreaking tune "If You Say So," which outlines her final conversation with Monteith before his untimely death.
For a complete review of the album, pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly.