Naya Rivera, Cory Monteith

Araya Diaz/Filmmagic

The kind and emotional words for Cory Monteith's tragic and sudden death continue to pour in from family, friends and costars alike. Naya Rivera, who starred alongside Monteith on Glee since season one, has issued a statement to honor and grieve over her fallen friend.

"The entire Glee family and I are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Cory was and always will be a part of my own family and a good friend," she says. "He was a special part of this world and will forever be missed. My heart goes out to Cory's family and Lea and while we are grateful for everyone's well wishes, privacy during this time of grief is greatly appreciated."

Rivera and Monteith shared many scenes together over four seasons of the Fox series, and sang together on songs such as Madonna's "Like a Virgin," Coldplay's "The Scientist" and a mash-up of "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" and "One Way or Another." In season four, Santana helped Finn confront Brody (Dean Geyer) about his skeptical-sounding side job in an effort to win back his ex-girlfriend Rachel (Lea Michele).

Monteith's death at 31 has rocked the entertainment industry, especially the cast of Glee, with whom he worked so closely with on a daily basis.

Dot Marie Jones, who played Finn's football coach, tweeted on Sunday: "I have no words! My heart is broken Cory was not only a hell of a friend he was one amazing men that I will hold close to my heart forever."

A Glee source tell us that it is "too soon to tell" how the writers will address Monteith's passing on the show.

"Everyone is in shock," says another Glee insider. "To say that Cory was much loved on the Glee set doesn't even begin to do him justice."

Donations in Monteith's memory can be made to Project Limelight Society, a free performing arts program for children from Vancouver¹s Downtown Eastside.

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