For Lea Michele, 2020 was supposed to be the year that changed her … and it did, but not in the way that she thought it would. For most of June, the "Glee" actress couldn't catch a break, as former co-stars came out in droves to call her out for alleged demeaning behavior. Just one month prior, the actress announced her pregnancy — a much happier moment. Click through to read about the very, very up and very, very down year Lea has had thus far…
RELATED: Glee's celebrity guest stars
On May 2, less than a week after reports claimed Lea Michele was pregnant with her first child, the actress confirmed the news, posting a sweet snap while grading her baby bump. "So grateful," she wrote alongside the image. The happy times wouldn't last…
RELATED: Celebs expecting babies in 2020
On June 1, Lea Michele took to Twitter to voice her outrage over George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. Actress Samantha Marie Ware, who appeared on 11 episodes during season 6 of "Glee," replied with a tweet of her own that took issue with Lea weighing in on how people treat each other. "LMAO REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISON GIG A LIVING HELL?!?! CAUSE ILL NEVER FORGET," Samantha wrote in all caps. "I BELIEVE YOU TOLD EVERYONE THAT IF TOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY YOU WOULD 'S— IN MY WIG!' AMONGST OTHER TRAUMATIC MICROAGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD…" "Community" star Yvette Nicole Brown responded to Sammie's tweet, "I felt every one of those capital letters." Samantha's tweet began an avalanche of criticism directed at Lea.
RELATED: Glee's greatest moments
Actor-musician Dabier, who appeared on an episode of "Glee" in 2014, called out Lea Michele by name in an all-caps tweet. "GIRL YOU WOULDNT LET ME SIT AT THE TABLE WITH THE OTHER CAST MEMBERS CAUSE 'I DIDNT BELONG THERE' F— YOU LEA," he wrote.
Actress Monica Moskatow claimed Lea Michele once called her "ugly" and added that the late Cory Monteith, Lea's then-boyfriend, had to comfort her. "September 2009 I was hired to work at the premiere party for Glee at a high school. They hired lookalikes of the shows characters to perform at the party. I was the Rachel Berry lookalike," Monica wrote on Twitter, referring to Lea's character on the Fox show. "I didn't know my character was the lead let alone who played her. When the actors arrived at the event and found out there were lookalikes of them Lea came searching for me. When she saw me she said, 'oh my god! Could they have picked someone uglier!'" Cory, she wrote, "saw the look on my face and said, 'don't listen to her she's just jealous, you're beautiful.' I never forgot that."
Following the bad behavior accusations, Lea Michele attempted a mea culpa, but most people felt her apology fell flat. In speaking specifically about Samantha Marie Ware's accusations, Lea wrote, "While I don't remember ever making this specific statement and I have never judged others by their background or color of their skin, that's not really the point. What matters is that I clearly acted in ways which hurt other people. Whether it was my privileged position and perspective that caused me to be perceived as insensitive or inappropriate at times or whether it was just my immaturity and me just being unnecessarily difficult, I apologize for my behavior and for any pain which I have caused. We all can grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my own shortcomings." Lea didn't apologize to anyone by name. "I am a couple of months from becoming a mother and I know I need to keep working to better myself and take responsibility for my actions, so that I can be a real role model for my child and so I can pass along my lessons and mistakes, so that they can learn from me. I listened to these criticisms and I am learning and while I am very sorry, I will be better in the future from this experience," she continued. Many soon used the comments section to describe their encounters with Lea, but several users said their comments were mysteriously deleted.
"Glee" alum Heather Morris was one of the first main cast members to sound off on Lea Michele. "Let me be very clear, Hate is a disease in America that we are trying to cure, so I would never wish for that hate to be spread to anyone else. With that said, was [Lea] unpleasant to work with? Very much so; for Lea to treat others with the disrespect that she did for as long as she did, I believe she SHOULD be called out. And yet, it's also on us because to allow it to go on for so long without speaking out is something else we're learning along with the rest of society," the actress, who starred alongside Lea on six seasons of "Glee," wrote on Twitter. "But, at the current moment its implied that she is a racist and although I cannot comment on her beliefs, I think we're assuming, and you know what happens when we all assume…"
Australian actor Dean Geyer — who played Brody Weston, a boyfriend of Lea Michele's character, on 14 episodes during season 4 of "Glee" — was the first co-star to publicly defend the actress. He told Daily Mail Australia, "Lea is still one of my favorite co-stars that I have had the pleasure of working with. She is extremely hard working and super fun to be around." He went on to praise her work ethic, calling it "so strong it forces you to always be on top of your game." Said the actor, "That's something I looked forward to everyday on set. I definitely learned a lot. When jumping onto a hugely successful and established show like 'Glee,' I went into it expecting to be known as the 'new guy' for at least a month, but that wasn't the case at all. I almost immediately felt welcomed, and to be totally honest, out of everyone, Lea was the most friendly to me. I can only speak for myself and my own experience, but from what I saw during my time on set, there was nothing but professionalism and a genuine sense of community amongst the cast and crew. No one showed any signs of discomfort while Lea was on set. If I'm basing my opinion off my season, there definitely shouldn't be a reason for a backlash."
Matthew Morrison didn't support or slam Lea Michele when her name was brought up during an interview with FUBAR Radio's "All Access Areas." "I honestly think it's a distraction of the bigger issues that are going on right now," he said. "I don't really want to comment too much on it, but it's, um … yeah, going back to what I was saying, you want to be a pleasant person to work [with and] be around. Yeah, that's about all I'm going to say on that." Matthew starred on all 121 episodes of "Glee" — as did Lea.
Actor Craig Ramsay, who starred alongside Lea Michele on the Broadway production of "Fiddler On The Roof," sounded off on his former co-star on the July 1 episode of the "Behind The Velvet Rope" podcast. "I just didn't want to hear Lea Michele's name in this interview. At all," he said. "I think she's a despicable, horrible human being. I think she has lost touch with reality." Craig claims he was with Lea when she got the phone call confirming she was cast in "Glee." "I think the entitlement just took over her body," he said. "She was possessed with this and from that moment on… because she moved to L.A. the same time I did from New York. I cared for her greatly but then the amount of entitlement that came right at that moment, I have never seen the likes."
Amber Riley, who starred on "Glee" for six seasons, first said she couldn't care less about the Lea Michele backlash. But later, during an early June Instagram Live, she said, "I wish Lea Michele well. I hope that she has an amazing pregnancy. I hope that she has grown. That [statement] she put out, I didn't read it because I told y'all I don't give a s— about it. … She reached out to me, I responded to her, and that's where it ends for me. I ain't talk to that girl in two years. I have no hatred or ill will on that end."
On July 3, Lea Michele returned to social media for the first time since she released her tone-deaf statement addressing the allegations against her. She took to her Instagram Story to share a distant photo of herself on a hike. Her baby bump was on full display. That same weekend, paparazzi photographers spotted a noticeably-pregnant Lea out and about in Los Angeles.
Lea Michele quietly deleted her Twitter account after her "Glee" co-star Naya Rivera went missing at a Southern California lake on July 8. The actress has not commented on why she suddenly deleted her Twitter, but it's believed that she was bullied online after Naya's disappearance.