The 29-year-old Glee alum made a major admissions this year thanks to her uncensored memoir, Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes and Growing Up.
In the book, the actress candidly revealed she secretly had an abortion in 2010 as her career on the hit Fox franchise was on the rise. Around the same time, Rivera had just broken up with her then-boyfriend, actor Ryan Dorsey, who she later reunited with and married in 2014. She gave birth to their son, Josey Hollis Dorsey, in September 2015.
While she initially kept the abortion from Dorsey—privately scheduling it on a day off from filming—Naya later decided to share the secret with him. His reaction made her love him even more.
"He said, 'Uh you know, in the short time that we dated, I wish that I could have done something to make you feel like you could have trusted me with that information because I would have loved to have been there with you,'" she recalled for the ladies of The Real. "And I was like, 'God, that's amazing, thank you so much.'"
"I think it was the kindest and best thing that any man could have ever said in that situation," Rivera said. "It just made me love him that much more, so I thank him for that."
While Dorsey's response was a good one, Naya was prepared to handle any reaction to make her story known on behalf of women everywhere.
"I knew that in sharing my story, I would be judged for the decision I made," she wrote in a personal essay for USAToday. "But I wanted to let other women facing the same difficult decision know that they weren't alone."