Mark Salling, the former Glee actor, has died from an apparent suicide while awaiting sentencing for child pornography charges.
The news first broke from TMZ on January 30, 2018 that Salling had died. Salling’s death ends a tragic chapter in his life that saw him facing years in prison on the pornography accusations. However, the coroner has not yet released a cause of death. The Hollywood Reporter says it has confirmed that Salling has died at the age of 35, however. US Weekly reports that the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that Salling died of an apparent suicide.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Salling’s Body Was Discovered Near a Riverbed, TMZ Reports
TMZ provided some of the tragic details on Salling’s death. According to the entertainment site, “his body was found near a riverbed in Sunland … the area where he lived. We do not yet know the manner of death. We’re told he may have died after hanging himself. We’ve learned the address where Salling was found dead is a little league field near a creek.”
Police responded to “a death investigation near the Glee alum’s home in the Sunland-Tujunga neighborhood” on the morning of January 30 but couldn’t initially identify the Glee star, according to US Weekly.
2. Salling Allegedly Tried to Commit Suicide Before but His Lawyer Denied Those Reports
Back in August 2017, Salling allegedly tried to commit suicide before reaching a plea agreement in the child pornography case, according to TMZ.
The site alleged at that time that Salling cut “both of his wrists” after he “freaked out,” and added that his roommate “discovered him bleeding.” His lawyer denied that account. The child pornography case would have had serious consequences. In addition to prison time, Salling was facing registering as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
3. Salling Pleaded Guilty to Child Pornography Possession Charges
Mark Salling clearly had a lot of struggles in his life recently. He had pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography charges. Salling was facing a prison term of four to seven years after entering a plea agreement in October 2017 “after admitting he possessed images of prepubescent children,” the Hollywood Reporter noted.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, a search warrant “found more than 50,000 images of child porn on his computer and a thumb drive.” Salling had other troubles with the law over the years. Salling was accused in a 2013 lawsuit of sexual battery by his former girlfriend, Roxanne Gorzela. According to E! News, the actor settled the lawsuit and was ordered by a judge to pay $2.7 million to Gorzela.
4. Salling Was Raised in a Religious Home in Texas
According to his IMDB biography, Mark Salling “was born in Dallas, Texas. He is the younger of two children of Condy Sue (née Wherry), a school secretary, and John Robert Salling, Jr., an accountant.”
The site reports that Salling’s strict Christian family home-schooled him for a time. During his high school years, he wrestled and starred in school talent shows, according to IMDB. As an adult, he “attended the Los Angeles Music Academy College of Music in Pasadena, California and began studying guitar, giving guitar lessons to make a living.” He then ended up on the TV show, Glee,. for which he is best known.
5. Salling Is Best Remembered as Noah Puckerman on Glee
Most fans best remember Mark Salling as Noah “Puck” Puckerman on the Fox TV show Glee. While on the hit musical, Salling dated his co-star Naya Rivera for three years, according to the Mercury News.
According to the Mercury News, Rivera later wrote: “I think everyone should have that one relationship where you look back and ask yourself, ‘What the hell was I thinking?’ You’ll learn something and you won’t regret it. Unless, of course, that relationship was with someone who had a sizable stash of child porn on his computer. Then, by all means, regret everything.”