While Lea, 26, and Cory, 31, don't appear to have been officially
engaged, sources say they were discussing marriage and had plans to walk
down the aisle. He had also decided to officially move into her LA home
when he returned from Canada.
It makes Cory's untimely death all the more tragic. Lea is said to be "devastated" by his passing. On Tuesday, three days after his death, she released a statement extending her thanks for the outpouring of support.
"Lea is deeply grateful for all the love and support she's received from family, friends and fans," her rep said. "Since Cory's passing, Lea has been grieving alongside his family and making appropriate arrangements with them.
"They are supporting each other as they endure this profound loss together."
In January, Lea spoke lovingly about her boyfriend, who starred alongside her in the hit TV show Glee.
"No one knows me better than Cory," she said. "No one knows what it's been like to go through this more than he does. Feeling like you have that net underneath you allows you in jump higher and go farther. He makes me feel like I can do anything.
"For the first time in my life, I feel really, really settled and happy," she added. "I feel like the luckiest girl in the world."
Two months later, she stood by him when he entered treatment for substance abuse, and was reportedly the one who convinced him to get help.
"I love and support Cory and will stand by him," she said at the time. "I am grateful and proud he made this decision."
Cory, who was found dead in a hotel room in Vancouver on Saturday, was cremated in a private service on Tuesday. A coroner's report has confirmed he died from an overdose of heroin and alcohol.
The actor had been open in the past about his struggles with substance abuse. In 2011, he revealed he had previously entered rehab when he was 19.
At the time, he said he hoped being honest about his struggle with substance addiction would help others.
"I don't want kids to think it's okay to drop out of school and get high, and they'll be famous actors too," he said. "But for those people who might give up: get real about what you want and go after it."
For our tribute to Cory Monteith and to hear remembrances from family and friends about the gentle Canadian star, pick up this week’s issue of Hello! Canada.
A version of this article appeared in Hellomagazine.com with the headline "Cory Monteith and Lea Michele 'discussing marriage' at the time of his tragic death."
Photos: Getty Images