Celebrity

Glee actor Mark Salling, 35, found dead

Glee star, Mark Salling, has been found dead in apparent suicide.

TRIGGER WARNING: This story contains themes some readers may find upsetting.

Mark Salling has been found dead in an apparent suicide a month before he was due to be sentenced for possession of child pornography.

"I can confirm that Mark Salling passed away early this morning. 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," his attorney Michael Proctor has said in a statement to People. "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."

At his sentencing, which was scheduled for March 7, the actor — who was best known for playing Noah "Puck" Puckerman on Glee from 2009 to 2015 — was facing between four and seven years in prison after pleading guilty to possessing child sex abuse images.

Salling was arrested in 2015 after a authorities received a tip that he had pornographic images of children being sexually abused. The Internet Crimes Against Children task force reportedly discovered more than 50,000 videos and photos of child pornography and erotica on his laptop, while a USB drive contained an additional 4,000 images and 160 videos. Details of who were featured in these images have, obviously, not been released.

In October, 2017, Salling had entered a plea deal to avoid a 20-year sentence.

In a separate incident, in March Salling had reached a $2.7m settlement with a woman who sued him for sexual battery, claiming Salling forced her to engage in unprotected sex.

Salling's other acting credits included a guest-role in Walker, Texas Ranger in 1999 and a 2014 TV movie, Rocky Road.

Support is available for those who may be distressed by phoning Lifeline in 13 11 14; Mensline 1300 789 978; Kids Helpline 18000 551 800; Beyond Blue 1300 224 636.