In 2013, actor Cory Monteith tragically died due to a heroin overdose. The “Glee” star was just 31 years old. Now, his mother, Ann McGregor, is opening up about the pain that still lingers five years after her son’s shocking and untimely death.
“I still can’t pick up the pieces,” McGregor told People. “My world totally stopped. And I’m a different person than I was before.”
McGregor raised Monteith and his older brother, Shaun, who is now 38, as a single mom in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. She describes her relationship with her younger son as very close, and said they would “go everywhere together” when Monteith was a child.
Although he was a bright student and even skipped two grades, Monteith fell in with a bad crowd and began smoking and drinking by age 13. He went to rehab at age 15 and returned again for a second time at 19.
He eventually got sober and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career. McGregor believes that his starring role on “Glee,” which catapulted him to fame, may have been a factor in his ultimate demise.
“He wasn’t ready for the Hollywood world,” she told the magazine. “Drugs were his way of checking out.”
Another issue was that in the months between a stint in rehab in April 2013 and his death in July, Monteith had extensive dental work done and was given medication for the pain that may have contributed to his death. His cause of death was officially due to a lethal combination of heroin and alcohol, but traces of prescription drugs codeine and morphine were also found in his system.
Despite her loss, McGregor is determined honor her son’s legacy through causes he was passionate about, like helping at-risk youth. She is now working with Amber Academy, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering young people through the performing arts.
You can read her full interview in this week’s issue of People, out on July 20.