Former Glee actor Mark Salling died from an apparent suicide before his sentence for child pornography charges.
The $275 million figure is most likely false. The figure came from an issue of People With Money, which MediaMass.com labeled as false. The article stated that Salling made $96 million between December 2016 and December 2017 and that he has endorsement deals with CoverGirl cosmetics, owns several restaurants including the “Fat Salling Burger” chain, football team “The Dallas Angels,” vodka brand “Pure Wondersalling – US,” perfume line “With Love from Mark,” and a fashion line called “Mark Salling Seduction.” There is no evidence that any of these products or endorsements exist.
However, the actor did make a sizable living, judging by the salaries of his co-stars and his ability to afford the expenses as a result of his legal situations.
Here’s everything you need to know.
1. Salling could have made up to $60,000 per episode of Glee
Salling, 35, was most well known for portraying the football jock Noah “Puck” Puckerman on the Fox TV show Glee through the entirety of its run from 2009 to 2015.
While Salling’s salary per episode of Glee isn’t available, TV Guide did detail the earnings of other Glee stars. In 2010, Jane Lynch earned $50,000 per episode while Matthew Morrison earned $30,000. By 2011, Lynch’s paycheck raised to $60,000 with Morrison earning $55,000, according to TV Guide.
According to Mercury News, Salling dated his co-star Naya Rivera for three years.
“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,” Rivera later wrote according to the publication. “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.”
Salling also had roles in Walker, Texas Ranger, The Graveyard, Rocky Road, and Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering.
2. He Started Off Humbly, Giving Guitar Lessons
Salling was born on August 17, 1982 in Dallas, Texas, according to his bio on IMDB. He grew up home-schooled at an early age in a “strict Christian home” and then attended Providence Christian School and Our Redeemer Lutheran for his primary education. He later attended Culver Military Academy and then graduated from Lake Highlands High School in 2001. In addition to wrestling, his teenage years had him heavily involved in music as he participated in school talent shows and performed in bars despite being underage.
As he was studying guitar at the Los Angeles Music Academy College of Music in Pasadena, California, he began giving guitar lessons to make a living.
He published two studio albums: Smoke Signals in February 2008 and Pipe Dreams in October 2010. Pipe Dreams peaked at number 189 on Billboard 200 in November 2010.
3. He Paid $2.7 Million to Settle a Lawsuit in 2015
Salling settled a lawsuit with former girlfriend Roxanne Gorzela in March 2015 after being accused of sexual battery in January 2013, according to E! News. Salling was ordered by a judge to pay Gorzela a total of $2,710,155.28 per the terms of the settlement. According to court documents obtained by the publication, the sum is broken down into about $64,155.28 for past medical, $666,000 for future medical, $180,000 for past non-economic damages, and $1.8 million for future non-economic damages.
4. He Pleaded Guilty to Child Pornography Possession Charges, Agreed to Pay $50,000 to Each Victim
Salling was arrested for possession of child pornography on December 30, 2015, according to People. A search warrant found more than 50,000 images of child porn on his computer and a thumb drive, according to The Hollywood Reporter. According to court documents obtained by People, a former girlfriend reportedly alerted police. He pleaded guilty in October 2017 to possession of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor, according to People.
Salling faced a prison term of four to seven years after entering the plea agreement in December 2017, according to People. According to court documents obtained by the publication, Salling also had to register as a sex offender, enter a treatment program, have no verbal or electrinic contact with anyone under the age of 18, stay 100 feet away from schools and other public places, and pay $50,000 in restitution to each victim of the child pornography. He would have been sentenced in March 2018.
5. He Died from an Apparent Suicide in January 2018
TMZ broke the news on Salling’s death. Law enforcement told the publication that Salling’s body was found hanging from a tree near a riverbed in the Sunland-Tujunga neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. US Weekly later reported that the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that Salling died of an apparent suicide.
Salling’s attorney, Michael Proctor, confirmed to People that Salling passed away early in the morning of January 30, 2018. “Mark was a gentle and loving person, a person of great creativity, who was doing his best to atone for some serious mistakes and errors of judgment,” Proctor told the publication. “He is survived by his mother and father, and his brother. The Salling family appreciates the support they have been receiving and asks for their privacy to be respected.”
Salling reportedly tried to commit suicide back in August 2017 before reaching the plea agreement, according to TMZ. The site reported that Salling allegedly cut both of his wrists after he “freaked out,” and added that his roomate “discovered him bleeding.” Proctor denied the account.