When speaking with New York magazine in an interview published Tuesday, the 32-year-old rapper discussed Rivera’s death and the song that has been associated by fans with their breakup in 2014.
“That’s a tough question to answer because I’m still processing a lot of that,” Sean said when asked if he regrets the track. “I don’t feel comfortable talking about it because I want to respect her.”
“She’s made such an impact on people, and she’s done so many great things in her life and her career that it was hurtful to even have that [song] be associated with her,” Sean went on, revealing how the song “wasn’t a diss to her” and that he had played it for Rivera.
“She knew about it, and she liked it,” he said. “We had a breakup that was very public, and we were young and we forgave each other and moved on from that. If I would have known something this tragic would have happened, I would have never made the song.”
Both Sean and Rivera began dating in 2013 after getting engaged in October of that year. And by April 2014, Sean broke off the engagement saying at the time how it was a “difficult decision.” Three months later, Rivera married Ryan Dorsey, with whom she shared son Josey, 4. In 2018, the couple finalized their divorce.
In July, Rivera accidentally drowned while swimming with Josey at Lake Piru in Ventura County, California. And on July 13, her body was recovered from the lake — just five days after she first went missing.
Officials believe Rivera saved Josey, boosting him back onto the boat but was unable to save herself. After her death was confirmed, Sean shared a heartfelt tribute to his ex-fiancée on social media.
“Rest In Peace Naya, God Bless your Soul! Thank you for blessing us all with your talent and presence,” he wrote on Instagram, calling the actress a “hero.”
“you are a hero! Not just because of how you saved your son, also because of the barriers you knocked down for so many people to make them feel confident in themselves and to stand tall and be proud when they couldn’t achieve that on their own,” the rapper went on. “I appreciate and cherish everything that ever happened between us for making me wiser and a better person.”
“I’m still grieving and in shock, I can’t believe this is real,” Sean ended the post. “I’m praying for you and your family and I know your watching over them and protecting them. Rest In Peace Naya ????????????.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.