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Glee star Mark Salling dead at 35 of apparent suicide

Glee star Mark Salling has died of an apparent suicide at age 35.

The actor’s lawyer, Michael J. Proctor, confirmed the news in a statement to EW.

“I can confirm that Mark Salling passed away early this morning,” Mr 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 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.”

The cause and manner of the death are unknown but TMZ reported that the actor who played bad boy Noah ‘Puck’ Puckerman in Glee was found dead at the Los Angeles River in Sunland, near where he lived.

Salling was awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to possessing more than 50,000 images of underage children.

He was due to be sentenced in March and had struck a plea deal whereby he would receive between four to seven years in prison.

The actor reportedly made a suicide attempt last year, according to reports.

Salling is said to have “freaked out” after hurting himself on August 22.

He is thought to have been taken to hospital after paramedics treated him in his Los Angeles home after his flatmate reportedly called emergency services.

The actor “downloaded thousands of images of child pornography” between April and December 2015.

He reportedly used software to mask his IP address, but twice showed some of his collection to a woman, who reported him to police.Salling was arrested at his home in Sunland, California, where police found an accumulation of explicit images on his computer depicting children as young as 10 in sexual situations. They later discovered more than 50,000 photos and videos on his laptop and another 4000 on a flash drive.The actor was originally facing up to 20 years in prison but took a plea deal, where he pleaded guilty to possessing images of prepubescent children between the ages of three and five. Prosecutors agreed to ask the judge to sentence him to between four and seven years in jail.

At the time of the hearing, he told the judge he was on antidepressants.

The actor would also have been required to register as a sex offender, which meant he had to stay a certain distance away from schools, parks, public swimming pools, playgrounds and video arcade locations. He also reportedly could not speak to children under the age of 18 without their parents or guardians present.

The star was set to play a role in the film Gods and Secrets, but was cut by its director after his arrest.

Salling, originally from Dallas, Texas, joined Glee in 2008 as bad boy Puck, staying with the show until 2015.

He dated co-star Naya Rivera for three years before ending their relationship in 2010.

Salling was previously sued by ex-girlfriend Roxanne Gorzela for sexual battery.

She later dropped the sexual battery claim but the case was settled out of court after Salling admitted to “causing her to fall and injure herself through negligence”.

Former Glee co-star Jane Lynch told TMZ that Salling’s death was “tragic” and said she was “broken hearted for him”.

She said she would remember him “as the guy who made that really sweet video at the beginning of Glee when he was so happy to be a part of this group”.

The cast of Glee have been struck by tragedy in recent years.

Cory Monteith, who played footballer Finn Hudson in the show, died in July 2013 of a toxic combination of heroin and alcohol in a Vancouver hotel room. He had been dating another star of the show, Lea Michele, at the time

In 2014, Becca Tobin’s then-boyfriend, night-life entrepreneur Matt Bendik, was found dead in a Philadelphia hotel room.

Tobin, who played cheerleader Kitty Wilde, had been in a serious relationship with Bendik when he died from a heart attack reportedly brought on by stress over expanding his business.
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