A Tribute to the Fabulously Deranged Gossip-Mongering of Naya Rivera

If there’s one thing the guilty pop culture consumer loves, it’s a famous person who enjoys courting scandal as much as we enjoy reading about it. Which is why we owe Naya Rivera—Glee actress, Kim Kardashian critic and drama monger—a big thank you for her gifts over the past year.

2014 has been big for Naya. There was a very public breakup, a very public marriage and that time she commented on Instagram that mothers should never show off their greased-up butts. The other day, lest we forget her (as if we COULD), she appeared on The View where she proudly proclaimed that she doesn’t allow her husband to have female friends.

The thing with Naya Rivera is that she’s actually been pulling magnificent, attention-grabbing shit for years now. Her recent “scandal” with Kim Kardashian is only one incident in a long line of ” fun” or alternately “deranged” behavior. Until recently, she’s always been overshadowed by the drama surrounding her more famous co-stars, but this will be true no longer. Naya—the beautiful angel delivered by Ryan Murphy from that harmonized hell pit known as Glee—is ready to take the crazy spotlight and sing us her entrancing, high-drama song.

To better appreciate her journey, here is a timeline of what makes Naya so deserving of our admiration and respect in this hustle-and-bustle tabloid world. Of course, many of the stories have been “denied” (because she’s not a fucking amateur, for Christ’s sake), but the final takeaway remains the same: Naya Rivera has worked endlessly for our attention and we will now give it to her.


The case: Naya Rivera allegedly keys and eggs at the car of rumored boyfriend/Glee co-star Mark Salling after learning that he’s been having sex with other women.

Reported by: US Weekly

Denied by: Mark Salling

After US Weekly reported on the incident, Salling takes to Twitter to deny that it ever happened. “I don’t even drive a Lexus,” he writes. “Silly rumors, we’re the best of friends.”

At the same time, an eyewitness (probably Lea Michele) claims to have seen Naya buying eggs and dog food on the same night as the rumored attack.

In addition to the egging/keying, Rivera and Salling deny dating altogether. This is probably a lie because 1.) young casts of successful shows are always fucking each other and 2). Lea Michele (her again!) and Cory Monteith confirmed it in an interview.

Successful publicity troll? Duh. This happened four years ago and I still remember it, which is saying something because I can’t even remember to do my taxes.

April 2014

After four years of biding her time, April of 2014 was a big month for Naya and the tabloids. And it all starts with the separation from fiancé and collaborator Big Sean.

The case: Big Sean calls off his engagement to Naya after rumors of his infidelity are circulated. Big Sean denies the rumors.

Reported by: US Weekly

Denied by: No one. All parties agree that Big Sean and Naya are no longer together.

Successful publicity troll? No. Naya should never go out with a whimper. She should always go out with a bang. In this case, Big Sean is controlling too much of the spin, but NOT FOR LONG.

The case: Naya Rivera accuses Big Sean of stealing her Rolex on Twitter, later deletes tweet.

Reported by: Naya Rivera/TMZ

Denied by: Big Sean

Big Sean informs the public that he did not steal Naya Rivera’s watch. Rather he reclaimed his Rolex after once letting her wear it, saying it “was never hers to keep.”

Successful publicity troll: 8/10. By publicly accusing someone of stealing something that actually belongs to them, she begins to reveal herself as a master of her craft.

The case: Naya feuds with Glee‘s reigning star Lea Michele. Rivera’s people say it’s because Naya was sick of Lea’s diva attitude. Michele’s people say it stemmed from Naya’s jealousy over Lea’s success. I say it’s because Naya found out that Lea was the REAL Phantom of the Opera and is secretly living on set, but Lea doesn’t want anyone to know.

Reported by: TMZ

Denied by: Everyone and no one, the sound of one hand clapping.

Initially it was widely reported that Naya had been fired from Glee because of the feud. Showrunner Ryan Murphy promised that she still had a job (perhaps after reminding her how quickly he could have it taken away), which was a smart move on his part because not only did his show get some much needed publicity, it also got to keep one its most talented performers. YES, Naya is great:

Lea Michele eventually discussed the fight on Letterman, saying “It’s really unbelievable, the amount of things that can be just completely made up. People like to pit women against each other and it’s really annoying and really sad.” UM, YOU’RE THE SAD ONE, PHANTOM.

Successful publicity troll? A+ for Naya, A+ for Lea Michele, A+ for Glee. They’re lucky we’re not grading on a curve. (Naya even gets some extra credit.)

May 2014

The case: Naya is reportedly dropped by Columbia Records.

Reported by: Billboard

Denied by: Naya Rivera

After numerous reports that Columbia had dropped Naya as an artist, her reps released a statement saying that their client was still with the label. Billboard pointed out, however, that she is no longer listed as an artist on Columbia Records’ official website (as of now, that’s still the case). In June, Naya told Just Jared that her debut record was on hold “because there are so many things going on. Politics got involved so I’ve been putting it on the back burner; there are a lot of things that I’m doing that I’m excited about.”

‘K, girl.

Successful publicity troll? No. No album means less attention, less haters. Haters are good.

July 2014

The case: Less than four months after breaking up with Big Sean, Naya Rivera uses their wedding day to marry a totally new, surprise dude.

Reported by: US Weekly, TMZ

Denied by: No one. Naya Rivera and new husband Ryan Dorsey are still married.

Why let a perfectly good wedding date
—and wedding dress—go to waste? And why not marry someone who, according to tabloids, your friends and coworkers didn’t even know you were involved with? We might try to think of answers to these questions, but our insights are chump change to Naya, who marches to the beat of her own brilliant, crazy drum.

Successful publicity troll? SHE IS A GODDAMN QUEEN.

September 2014

The case: Big Sean, now dating Ariana Grande, releases “I Don’t Fuck With You,” a song likely inspired by Naya.

Reported by: HollywoodLife

Denied by: No one, really. Big Sean admits it’s “kind of” about Rivera, but the lyrics speak for themselves:

I heard you got a new man, I see you takin’ a pic
Then you post it up, thinkin’ that its makin’ me sick
I see you calling, I be makin’ it quick
Imma answer that shit like: “I don’t fuck with you”
Bitch I got no feelings to go
I swear I had it up to here, I got no ceilings to go
I mean for real, fuck how you feel
Fuck your two cents if it ain’t goin’ towards the bill, yeah
And everyday I wake up celebratin’ shit, why?
Cause I just dodged a bullet from a crazy bitch
I stuck to my guns, that’s what made me rich

Successful publicity troll? As Dean Martin once sang, you’re nobody until somebody writes a dis track about you. Naya is SOMEBODY.

November 2014

The case: After Kim Kardashian posts her now infamous Paper magazine cover to Instagram, Naya Rivera comments “I normally don’t. But…you’re someone’s mother…”

Reported by: Gawker

Denied by: No one. Naya goes days without acknowledging her comment, but eventually cops to it with the hashtag “#instagramgotmeintrouble.”

Successful publicity troll? Naya displays her media savvy by remarking on an already-controversial topic that involves a person more famous than her. It’s a traditional yet expert “get attention” move.

The case: Jonathan Cheban, best friend of Kim Kardashian, accuses Naya Rivera of Single White Female-ing Kim in a blog post (titled after Big Sean’s dis track) and presents a fairly convincing slideshow as evidence.

Reported by: Jonathan Cheban

Denied by: Naya Rivera, I’d imagine. No one wants it advertised that they’re biting someone else’s style when they’re on the road to the top. It’s a hard accusation to fight, however, especially when you use Kim Kardashian’s hair stylist on your wedding day, wear a wedding dress that’s similar to Kim’s wedding dress (well, one of them) and have started looking eerily like her as the years go on.

Successful publicity troll? Not so much. She got attention, but it wasn’t flattering, nor did it even begin to compare to the attention paid to Kim. Come at the Queen of ‘Zines, you best not miss.

So what will she do next?

Only Naya knows. Shine on, you crazy diamond.

Images via the AP.

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