Former Glee star Mark Salling is reportedly dead of an apparent suicide, TMZ is reporting that the troubled actor took his life by hanging. His body was found at a nearby baseball field after police were called to perform a welfare check and he was said to be dead for some time.
His death comes as Mark awaited sentencing for his possession of over 50,000 inappropriate images of children, for which he pled guilty to this past December. He was expected to get between four to seven years in prison. He seemingly attempted suicide last August by cutting his wrists, but his lawyer denied the allegations.
In 2015, Mark was arrested after a search warrant discovered thousands of illegal images on his personal computer. He was originally looking at up to 20 years behind bars, but according to the terms of his plea deal, that number was significantly decreased. Along with serving his time, Mark would have had to register as a sex offender and would be under supervised release for the two decades following his jail sentence
Mark (right) on Glee. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
At the time of his arrest, his former co-star and ex-girlfriend Naya Rivera revealed she was not surprised by the arrest. “My son’s nanny actually told me about it when the story broke,” she wrote in her memoir. “I can’t say I was totally shocked, but still — WTF? Then I had no doubt that God really did have my back along the way. When Mark dumped me, I thought it was the worst thing ever, but can you imagine if that didn’t happen? And I was laying there in bed when the battering ram came through the door?”
She continued, “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."
Several of Mark's Glee co-stars have publicly mourned his loss. Iqbal Theba who played the role of Principal Figgins wrote two messages on Twitter that read, "Oh Mark." His second tweet said, "His death is painful for me Some of u might know him for only his flaws but I also knew him as someone who was great to work with & was kind to my kids. I truly wish he’d fought his demons &atoned himself & came out a winner. May we all find solace in some of his gentler memories."
Paris Barclay, who directed a few episodes of Glee posted a photo of the late Cory Monteith and Mark on set together with the message, "It’s a painful loss, again. Two young actors, lost too soon. RIP #marksalling."
One of the Glee producers had a lot to say about Mark's death. He wrote, "Today we lost another #Glee cast member.Yes, he committed crimes against children.Yes, it's horrific. But #MarkSalling was a broken man, no doubt an abuse victim himself. I loved Mark, and am sad when I consider the devastation of his parents. PLEASE withhold your cruel comments."
And continued by saying, "Let me be clear. Having compassion for #MarkSalling in no way minimizes his crimes, nor does it minimize the pain and devastation of the victims of those crimes. I'm just saying stop adding to his family's pain. This was their son. If you're without sin, feel free to cast stones."
Matthew Morrison played the role of Mr. Schue on Glee posted a throwback photo of himself, Mark and Cory. Jenna Ushkowitz who played the role of Tina Cohen-Chang on the hit series commented on the picture with a heart emoji. Matthew captioned the shot, "😇😔😇."
Jane Lynch who played the role of Sue Sylvester on Glee was caught by TMZ walking out of the dry cleaners when they asked her what she thought of his passing. She said, "It’s sad. It’s tragic. And that’s probably all I’ll have to say thank you." But, she continued when she was asked how she'll remember Mark. Jane explained, "As the guy who made that really sweet video in the beginning of Glee when he was so happy to be a part of this group and it’s tragic and I’m broken hearted over it."
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, there are many resources available. Please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text Crisis Text Line at 741-741. Both are available 24/7.
This story was originally published by Anna Quintana on our sister site, InTouch Weekly.