Former “Glee” star Mark Salling was found dead of an apparent suicide on Tuesday, forcing fans of the hit Fox dramedy to confront the actor’s troubled life as they mourned his death.
“Mark Salling did horrible things that he hadn’t yet face the consequences for, but he also played a part in a show that meant the world to a lot of people,” wrote one Twitter user. “It’s okay to have mixed feelings, without defending him. But remember that suicide is never the answer.”
Salling’s death came as he awaited sentencing in March after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography. In the October plea agreement, Salling admitted to possessing approximately 25,000 images of children engaged in sexual conduct. He was facing four to seven years in prison.
Salling previously attempted suicide last year, according to TMZ, which first reported the news of the actor’s death. The gossip site reported in October that he was hospitalized following an attempt to take his own life ahead of his plea agreement.
“You’ll rarely hear the stories of unknown children and adults who commit suicide over their sexual abuse and exploitation by pedophiles. But they exist. They’re all too common,” writer Charlotte Clymer wrote on in a tweet on Tuesday including the hashtag #MarkSalling.
The situation was complicated even more by the fact that “Glee” fans have had to mourn one of the show’s young stars once before.
Cory Monteith, who served as the show’s male lead for four seasons, died of an accidental drug overdose in 2013. The show paid tribute to the late actor in a fifth-season episode where Monteith’s character was revealed to have died off-screen and was mourned by the other characters.
Some fans were quick to compare the deaths of the two young actors — Salling was 35, and Monteith was 31 — but others were not happy that the accidental death of an addict who had made multiple attempts at recovery was being conflated with the suicide of a man awaiting sentencing on child pornography charges.
“It’s sad, but Mark Salling’s death was because he couldn’t face the consequences of his disgusting actions. And that makes it worse,” wrote one user. “Please do not compare him to Cory Monteith. Separate entities.”
Mark Salling did horrible things that he hadn’t yet face the consequences for but he also played a part in a show that meant the world to a lot of people. It’s okay to have mixed feelings, without defending him. But remember that suicide is never the answer. #RIPMarkSalling
— bon (@ohmybonnie) January 30, 2018
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.
— Tim Davis (@loudmouthmuch) January 30, 2018
You'll rarely hear the stories of unknown children and adults who commit suicide over their sexual abuse and exploitation by pedophiles. But they exist. They're all too common.
Suicide isn't the answer for anyone, but I hope folks are mindful of the above today.#MarkSalling
— Charlotte Clymer????️???? (@cmclymer) January 30, 2018
Mark Salling did horrible things that he hadn’t yet face the consequences for but he also played a part in a show that meant the world to a lot of people. It’s okay to have mixed feelings, without defending him. But remember that suicide is never the answer. #RipMarkSalling
— kel (@mfcriss) January 30, 2018
My initial thoughts about Mark Salling are very mixed, and that's okay. He clearly dealt with a lot of demons and needed serious help.#Glee meant a great deal to many young people. You can separate Puck the character from the harsh reality of what he did. Wish his family peace.
— Britni (@brit_tweets) January 30, 2018
Suicide is never the answer but don't forget that Mark Salling admitted possessing child sex abuse images before you share a “rest in peace” message.
— Christie Walker (@LaChristie) January 30, 2018
God as much as I hate and would never condone what Mark Salling did ever… his character Noah Puckerman was a huge part of my life and I don’t know how to feel
— alice-tilly (@_alicetilly) January 30, 2018
I believe that rejoicing in Mark Salling’s death is cruel to a person, but also mourning in his death is wrong because of Pedophilia. So the only prayer I give to Mark Salling’s death is to his parents and Family because it’s so tragic to lose a son as a Family member.
— Amber ????????♀️ (@amber_harris16) January 30, 2018
Yes, Mark Salling did awful, criminal acts which he has been found guilty of but don’t you dare celebrate him committing suicide. That is disgraceful.
— Luke Waltham (@lukewaltham) January 30, 2018
I won't rejoice over Mark Salling's death the way some are, but I won't mourn a pedophile, either. I pray his family and his victims find peace.
— Lori (@booklovinggal) January 30, 2018
Each of us at one point loved/cared about Mark Salling like every other member of the glee cast.
A man died and if you're happy about this you're a piece of shit.
— Roby (@ProudOfNay) January 30, 2018
I will not defend Mark Salling's actions, but I will miss Noah Puckerman
— mikaylatorrence (@KaylaMadison7) January 30, 2018
Don't click on Mark Salling's name if you're not prepared to repeatedly slap your own face in baffled amazement over the people mourning his loss and saying he just made a mistake with those 50,000 child porn pics he was charged with possessing.
— Ian Fortey (@IanFortey) January 30, 2018
mark salling was pedophile, he had over 50,000 photos of child pornography and as far as i’m concerned, one less pedophile in the world the fucking better!!
— ???????????????? • 38 (@Igbtsuyu) January 30, 2018
darren actually had a great quote on seth meyers last night that speaks to mark salling's death:
"people's lives are much greater than the worst things they've ever done".
you're allowed to be sad. you're allowed to not be sad.
but if you're genuinely celebrating, you're sick.
— el (@littlelards) January 30, 2018