Tahj Mowry Reflects on Naya Rivera and Her ‘Amazing’ Legacy (Exclusive)

The actor, who dated Rivera when the pair were younger, reflected on the late actresses legacy one year after her untimely death.

Tahj Mowry is reflecting on Naya Rivera's life and legacy. It's been one year since Rivera went missing during a boating trip with her then-4-year-old son, Josey last July. She was found dead days later. 

ET's Deidre Behar spoke with Mowry ahead of the anniversary of Rivera's death, where he said he found peace knowing that the Glee star is in a better place.

"I'm good. Out of the utmost love and respect for her family, it's always hard for me to even speak about how I feel about it because it's nowhere near the pain that her mother, her sister, her brother, her father, her ex-husband, her son, had to deal with and are still dealing with," he told ET. "My love and respect goes out to them above all, but I'm good and she's in a better place, and she's chilling. You know what I mean? So that is where I can find the joy and the peace."

Mowry hopes others will remember Rivera for the amazing mother she became.

"I think overall the amazing mother that she became and the working mother that she became. I think she's the spitting image of what women are capable of doing just as capable as men are," Mowry shared. "She was so strong, she was hilarious, oh my God, and so talented, so talented. Her voice always was the best I had ever heard."

The Smart Guy actor marked the one-year anniversary of Rivera's passing Thursday with a black-and-white throwback of him and the late actress, simply writing, "January 12, 1987 – July 8, 2020🖤."

The pair first met as kids when Rivera guest starred on the ‘90s sitcom Smart Guy, but they reportedly didn't become an item until 2000, after which they dated for four years. Mowry confirmed their relationship in his touching tribute to her after Rivera's disappearance.

Mowry has since said that he's struggled to find someone like Rivera. In a June interview with Glamour, Mowry talked about the special connection he had with his first love, revealing that no one has measured up to the late actress. 

"She was definitely my first everything. I think subconsciously it's why I never really date like that because no one really ever... I know someday someone might, but it's hard to measure up to the type of girl and woman she was," Mowry told the magazine.

For more on Rivera and the former couple's special relationship, watch the video below.