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Mark Salling was an actor and musician who came to be more famous for his role in Glee (2009-2015). He began his career in 1996 when he appeared in the horror film, Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering. His stock continued to rise as an actor and musician from that time until 2015 when his career started taking a downward roll, following accusations of sexual assault and child pornography. The accusations led to formal charges that resulted in him entering a guilty plea before he went ahead to commit suicide in 2018.
Mark Salling Bio
It was in Dallas, Texas that the actor and singer was born as Mark Wayne Salling on August 17, 1982. He was brought up in a very religious home by his parents; Condy Sue and John Robert Salling, Jr., together with an older brother.
With a school secretary mother and an accountant father, Salling got his earliest education at home as he was home-schooled before he got to attend Providence Christian School and Our Redeemer Lutheran for his elementary education. He later went to Culver Military Academy although he could not graduate there and had to move to Lake Highlands High School, where he was a part of the school’s wrestling team before he graduated in 2001. He also played rugby and basketball.
After his high school education, Mark Salling attended the Los Angeles Music Academy College of Music where he studied guitar and also made a living giving guitar lessons. Having described himself as a musician at heart, he began playing cover gigs at his local hometown bar as he also performed at events in school.
The first role he got as an actor was in Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering (1996) as James Rhodes. This was followed by an appearance in an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger in 2006. That same year, he got a role in the movie The Graveyard before going on to land his highly acclaimed role in Glee in 2009. In 2014, he appeared in the TV movie, Rocky Road as Harrison Burke.
As a musician, Salling released his first album Smoke Signals in 2008 under the name Jericho. This was followed by Pipe Dreams in 2010 and then a single, High Power in the same year.
Although Mark Salling never had a wife as he was never married, he got into a number of relationships before his death. His first notable relationship was with in 2007, which lasted until 2010 when the two parted ways. After that, he got into a relationship with Playboy model and DJ Roxanne Dawn. The two only lasted together until 2011 before they broke up.
In 2013, a few years after they parted ways, Roxanne Dawn sued her ex-boyfriend for sexual battery. After denying the allegations, Salling counter-sued the model for defamation. The case was later settled out of court. The following year, Salling had a brief romance with Denyse Tontz which came to an end as a result of their hectic work schedule.
While he had a generous amount coming from his acting career, thanks to his role in Glee among others, Mark Salling was also said to have established a multi-million dollar business that helped him amass a net worth estimated to be around $1.9 million.
Child Pornography Case: Who Are His Victims?
In December 2015, Mark Salling was arrested on suspicion of possession of images of children being sexually abused following a tip-off by one of his ex-girlfriends. Following a search warrant, over 50,000 images of child pornography were found on his computer and thumb drive. The images were downloaded in that same year between the months of April and December.
In May 2016, the actor was charged with receiving and possessing images of child sexual abuse, charges that could see him serve a maximum sentence of 20 years if convicted. By October 2017, Salling admitted to the charges of possessing images of children between the age of 3 and 5 years. He soon later agreed to a plea deal that would cut down his sentence to between four to seven years. He also agreed to pay each of his victims seeking restitution at least $50,000.
According to court documents, his victims include a girl of between 3 to 5 years of age, as well as two pre-pubescent girls. It is further reported that at least two of the victims are from the UK.
Cause of Death
With Mark Salling’s sentencing date set for March 2018, he was found dead on January 30, 2018, near his Los Angeles home hours after he was reported missing. The cause of death is apparent suicide by hanging.
Back in 2017, the actor was said to have tried to commit suicide by cutting both his wrists, claims which his lawyer denied. Following his death, there was no way that his victims could collect the restitution agreed to since the actor was not actually sentenced.