Accepting the Teen Choice Award for TV Actress – Comedy on Sunday, an emotional Lea Michele took a moment to remember her former castmate and boyfriend Cory Monteith, who died last month of an overdose of heroin and alcohol.
Here’s what she said in full:
I just wanted to be here today to personally thank all of you and tell everyone out there how much all of your love and support has meant to me over these very past difficult few weeks. Thank you. Not that I had any doubt before, but you guys are most certainly the greatest fans in the world. I wanted to dedicate this award to Cory. For all of you out there who loved and admired Cory as much as I did, I promise that with your love, we’re gonna get through this together. He was very special to me, and also to the world, and we were very lucky to witness his incredible talent, his handsome smile and his beautiful, beautiful heart. So whether you knew him personally or just as Finn Hudson, Cory reached out and he became a part of all of hearts, and that’s where he will stay forever.
Michele’s emotional speech came shortly after the cast of Glee won Best TV Comedy. Costars Amber Riley and Jenna Ushkowitz also praised Monteith during their respective speeches.
“Although we lost someone that we really love and that all of you guys love too, we are very fortunate to come back to a show where we feel the love of family. Cory was like a brother to us and like a dad. He was always ready to sign an autograph or take a picture with a fan. He loves you Gleeks, and he loved his fans,” Riley said.
“On behalf of our brother and our castmate we know that Cory would have wanted to dedicate this award to you guys. Our condolences to you as well. We love you so much,” added Ushkowitz.
Sunday night marked Michele’s first public appearance since the death of Monteith, whom she dated on and off for years. On July 29, she tweeted a message to her fans thanking them for their “enormous love and support.”
“Cory will forever be in my heart,” she wrote.