Mark Salling, who played Puck on Fox’s long-running Glee, has died of an apparent suicide. He was 35.
“I can confirm that Mark Salling passed away early this morning,” the actor’s lawyer, Michael J. Proctor, said in a statement to EW. “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 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.”
TMZ reports that Salling’s death was an apparent suicide, and authorities found his body in a riverbed in Sunland, California, where he lived.
Salling played Puck on Glee from 2009 to 2015. He was set to play a role in the film Gods and Secrets, but was cut by its director after Salling was arrested in December 2015.
Authorities had discovered more than 25,000 images and 600 videos depicting child pornography on computers and thumb drives that belonged to the actor. Salling was named in a two-count indictment in May 2016 that alleged he received porn involving young girls, though the trial had been delayed while he sought new legal representation.
He struck a plea deal in October of last year that carried a sentence of four to seven years in prison, and he plead guilty in December. As part of the deal, Salling had to register as a sex offender and enter a treatment program; have no verbal or electronic contact with anyone under the age of 18; stay 100 feet away from schools, parks, public swimming pools, youth centers, playgrounds and arcades; and pay $50,000 in restitution to each victim, according to the documents.
Sentencing in the case was expected this coming March.
“Mark is focused on accepting responsibility and attempting to atone for his conduct,” Salling’s attorney had told PEOPLE in a statement in December when he appeared in court.
This story is still developing…