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Lea Michele Was ‘Self-Obsessed’ But Did Not Discriminate, Former Colleague Says (Exclusive)

Another side of the story. Lea Michele’s former colleague is speaking out about the allegations of mistreatment lodged against the Glee alum.

Related: Lea Michele’s Former Costars Speak Out Amid Backlash

“Though she was completely self-obsessed toward everyone, she did not discriminate,” a source who worked with Michele, 33, tells Us Weekly exclusively. “It didn’t matter if you were young or old, black or white — it’s just kind of her world.”

According to the insider, the actress did not hide her feelings about those around her. “Things are seen through a lens, and it comes from a very protective place where obviously she’s been on guard. She’s fiery and she has more of an aggressive personality where most people would play weak or vulnerable or ask for sympathy and Lea does not do that,” the source alleges. “You know where you stand — for the most part — with her.”

Related: ‘Glee’ Stars Weigh in on Lea Michele Drama

Lea Michele self obsessed but not a racist
Lea Michele Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock

The source claims that Michele’s behavior stemmed from her standing in the industry and the types of roles she portrayed. “In television, they hire really strong personalities because they create drama,” her former coworker says. “You don’t expect them not to be dramatic off set and in their own lives. That’s quite a switch to turn off.”

Related: Biggest Costar Feuds

The Scream Queens alum came under fire earlier this week when fellow Glee alum Samantha Marie Ware accused her of making the work environment “a living hell.” Other costars chimed in from across Michele’s projects to corroborate the 28-year-old Hamilton alum’s allegations, while some defended the Mayor alum.

Amber Riley, for one, stopped short of claiming Michele’s actions were motivated by racial bias. “I’m not going to say that Lea Michele is racist. That’s not what I’m saying,” the actress, 34, explained during a Wednesday, June 3, Instagram Live video. “That was the assumption because of what’s going on right now in the world and it happened toward a black person. I’m not going to say that she’s racist.”

Earlier on Wednesday, the Same Time, Next Christmas star addressed the allegations for the first time. “While I don’t remember ever making this specific statement and I have never judged others by their background or color of their skin, that’s not really the point. What matters is that I clearly acted in ways which hurt other people,” she wrote on Instagram. “Whether it was my privileged position and perspective that caused me to be perceived as insensitive or inappropriate at times or whether it was just my immaturity and me just being unnecessarily difficult, I apologize for my behavior and for any pain which I have caused.”

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