Naya Rivera played the role of mean girl high school cheerleader to the hilt during her stint on Glee. Struggling to come to terms with her sexuality, Rivera’s Santana Lopez was also a typical high schooler in other ways: she had some difficult secrets she kept hidden while putting on a brave face.
Now, in her upcoming memoir, Sorry Not Sorry (due Sept. 13), the 29-year-old singer/actress reveals that she battled a serious eating disorder as a teen, telling People that she’s “done a lot of living… I’m a 79-year-old trapped in a 29-year-old’s body.”
“By the time I was a sophomore, I started feeling that what had begun as a game had maybe gone too far. I just avoided food at all costs,” Rivera writes in the book about the anorexia that took hold as her parents were splitting up and her career troubles. “If my mom had packed a lunch for me, I’d either trash it or find some excuse to give it away.”
The singer reveals to People that she didn’t realize how far her anorexia had progressed until she started working on the memoir. “I had no way of knowing if I was going through it worse,” she says. “I was juggling my feelings and it makes me sad that there are girls still going through that 15 years after I went through it.”
A spokesperson for Rivera could not be reached for further comment.
The bigger bombshell is that Rivera had an abortion a single day off from shooting Glee in late 2010. The actress found out she was pregnant with actor Ryan Dorsey’s child just weeks after she broke up with him and didn’t tell Dorsey at the time. They ended up getting married in 2014 and he is now the father of their 11-month-old son, Josey.
“It’s not something a lot of people talk about, but I think they should,” Rivera said of the revelation she said was “scary” to share. “I know some people might read it and say, ‘What the Hell?’ But I hope someone out there gets something out of it.”