VANCOUVER (CBS) – The cousin of Hollywood actor Cory Monteith who was found dead in a Vancouver hotel on Saturday says Cory was his hero who encouraged him to pursue his dreams.
“He would do anything for anyone, give you the shirt off his back,” says Richard Monteith, who stopped at the makeshift memorial outside the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in downtown Vancouver to drop off a bouquet of flowers this afternoon.
During an exclusive interview to Global News, Monteith said his cousin worked super hard to get to where he was.
“He started out rough and then he started making it. He was at the top. He was where he wanted to be.”
He says Cory instilled hope in him and made him believe anything was possible.
“He told me no matter how long your tunnel is – just know there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. He was that light for me.”
Richard says Monteith remained the same person despite his success on Glee. He says the show helped the world see who he really was.
“That is why I am not the only one mourning. And my family are not the only people mourning. There are millions of Glee fans out there.”
He says he hopes the last chapter of Cory’s life will not define his entire career.
“Because he is such a high profile guy, you know it is not going to end there. There is going to be ridicule about ? he has done this or that ? and I just hope people know it is not about that…His life was full of beautiful stories, triumphs, failures and successes that it does not matter what his problems were… it matters how many lives he changed and that he was genuine.”
Monteith says Cory was always open about his addiction problem and was trying to work things out. But he says Cory never reached for help and worked through his problems on his own.
“Even though he is not here, he is still here. Even though he is gone, he is not gone. His light still shines in me, and in his family and all his fans.”