The actor was found dead in Los Angeles this morning (January 30)
Glee actor Mark Salling has died, aged 35.
His body was found in the Los Angeles area this morning (January 30), according to the Associated Press.
Salling’s lawyer Michael J. Proctor has since confirmed his death to TAP. In an email statement, Proctor said: “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.” He added that Salling’s family had asked for its request for privacy be respected.
The Los Angeles Police Department said the star was reported missing around three a.m. this morning. His body was found around nine a.m. near a riverbed in the Sunland area of LA. Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Corner’s officer has since confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Salling died by suicide.
The actor was awaiting sentencing for charges of possession of child pornography, to which he had pleaded guilty. He was facing between four and seven years in prison, with 20 years supervised release. The sentencing was scheduled for March 7.
He was arrested on charges of possessing child pornography involving a prepubescent minor in December 2015, before being indicted in 2016. He is said to have downloaded “thousands of images” of child pornography.
As part of his plea agreement, he was also made to register as a sex offender, have no communication with anyone under the age of 18 (unless in the presence of a parent or legal guardian), and ordered to pay $50,000 in restitution to each victim who has requested it.
Salling played Noah “Puck” Puckerman on the hit TV show between 2009 and 2015. He was dropped from the film Gods And Secrets after being indicted for possessing child pornography.
Glee producer Tim Davis has responded to the news of Salling’s death, writing on Twitter: “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.”
In a second tweet, he asked the public to consider Salling’s family when reacting to his death. “Let me be clear,” he wrote. “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.”
Salling’s former Glee castmates have also paid tribute. Matthew Morrison, who played Will Schuester on the show, posted a picture of himself with Salling and the late Cory Monteith.
Speaking to TMZ, Glee’s Jane Lynch said that she would remember Salling “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.’