Lea Michele says her late boyfriend and “Glee” co-star Cory Monteith should not be defined by the drug addiction that cost him his life in July.
“I only have happy memories of Cory. He was not his addiction — unfortunately, it won. But that wasn’t who he was,” Michele said in the April issue of Seventeen magazine.
The 27-year-old also said that Monteith, who was 31 when he died, made her “feel like a queen” every day.
“From the minute he said, ‘I’m your boyfriend,’ I loved every day, and I thank him for being the best boyfriend and making me feel so beautiful,” she said.
Monteith died of a lethal mix of heroin and alcohol, and had been candid about his past struggles with addiction.
Following Monteith’s death, going back to work on the set of “Glee” — where the couple met — was therapeutic, Michele said.
“[The ‘Glee’ cast] is the greatest group of people I have ever met in my entire life. We all lost Cory,” she said. “Being on the set of ‘Glee’ is no more difficult than being at home and finding [his] slippers under the bed. We had a life and a job together — it goes with you everywhere you go, you can’t get away from grief. So I might as well be surrounded by the people I love and get to lean on them.”
These days, Michele is focused on her new album, “Louder,” which she said contains tunes that “express extreme love and some pain.”
“I look at it and think, ‘That was my year,'” she said. ” I didn’t record any songs that I didn’t completely relate to.”