The world was stunned when Glee's Cory Monteith died in a Vancouver hotel room and speculation has abounded that Cory's past addiction demons are to blame. His autopsy has not been completed so we shouldn't jump to conclusions, but Cory's cousin, Richard Monteith, gave an interview in which it sounds suspiciously like Cory's death will indeed be drug-related. An emotional Richard, who remained close to his "hero" Cory, told Global BC TV:
Please don't judge on what is gonna be coming out ... People are gonna focus on this last chapter as a bad thing. Don’t use the last chapter do judge someone’s life ... Because his life is full of beautiful stories and triumphs and failures and successes. It doesn’t matter about his problems. It matters about the lives he changed. It matters that he was genuine.
And indeed everyone will remember the talented actor and singer for the happiness he brought his fans.
Richard says that Cory was the first person in his family to tell him that he could do something, that he could get somewhere and be successful, as Cory himself had done. "It's a rags to riches story," he says.
Richard calls Cory "beautifully genuine" and someone who never changed even after he gained Hollywood fame, fortune, and a beautiful, talented girlfriend, Lea Michele. After Glee success, Richard says he remained true to his roots but was "more joy filled" and "more loving."
However, Richard worries that Cory's legacy of success will be overshadowed by his last hours, saying, "There's going to be ridicule about he's done this, and he's done that. And it's not about that. It's about what he did positively."
"He knew he had a problem," says Richard, referring to Cory's well-documented struggle with drugs and alcohol, which recently sent him to rehab. He even relied on that past to play a drug-addicted street hustler in his new, and final, role.
Of course, we don't know if Cory's death was related to his addiction struggle, but we will find out soon. But even if it was, this certainly doesn't negate his accomplishments -- in fact, it makes them even more admirable. Cory was not someone who was born into Hollywood and who could merely walk through an audition door and say, "I'm the son of so-and-so." He came from nowhere and got where he was through sheer pluck, determination, hard work, and talent.
Success does not negate demons. In fact, sometimes it can aggravate them. Cory had them. We all have them. We just handle them differently. Cory's demons may have gotten the best of him in the end, but he had plenty of angels too, and he will be remembered for the wings that glided him into the homes and hearts of millions.
What will you remember Cory for?
Image via Global BC TV