Yesterday, the entertainment world was shocked by news that former Glee star Mark Salling had been found dead at the age of 35.
No official cause of death has been released, but it’s widely believed that Salling took his own life.
The response to news of Salling’s death has been mixed, as the actor’s sexual misconduct left thousands of victims in its wake.
Back in December of 2017, Salling pled guilty to possession of child pornography.
Prosecutors claimed he had amassed more than 50,000 explicit images and videos of pre-pubescent children.
Salling was awaiting sentencing at the time of his death.
He was expected to serve 4-7 years in prison.
For obvious reasons, many believe that Salling doesn’t deserve to be remembered fondly.
Those who knew him best, however, say that despite the horrific crimes that marred Sallng’s final years, they’ll mourn the loss of a beloved and gifted young man who was destroyed by his demons.
Little is known about Salling’s final days, as the actor maintained a reclusive lifestyle after news of the criminal investigation nto his activities went public.
However, a small circle of confidants were privy to his inner world right up until the end, and two of them have spoken with People magazine:
“He was close with his family, but as far as friends go — he maybe had those acquaintances he communicated with every once in a while, but he pretty much isolated himself,” said one source
“He didn’t really have a relationship with too many people.”
The insider says that while the world will remember Salling as a depraved predator, a small inner circle will remember a charming entertainer with a gift for making others smile:
“The Mark I knew was charismatic, he was funny, he was musically talented — he was a really cool person,” the friend says.
“This other dark side of him was completely shocking to everyone close to him,” says the source. “Close people who didn’t talk to him are still sad about it.
“They loved him because of the person he was before all of this happened. There’s a level of sadness with everyone, but the sadness is from afar.”
Another insider reiterates that Salling was well-liked by his familt and small network of friends, but admits that the actor was tortured by his professional failures:
“His career was off the boil, though; he was kind of the quarterback that peaked in high school, still dining out on Glee,” the second source says.
“Eventually, though, he started to focus on his music, which seemed like a good thing. That’s where he should have been focused to start with.
“But then the child porn thing came out, and people were so shocked. … It quickly started to become clear it was real, and then the few people still around him iced him out.”
The source adds that the revelations about Salling’s dark side were all the more shocking due to his reputation as a smooth-talking ladies man:
“He always had girls around him,” the insider says.
“Mark was fun, he had the charisma — sure, some was because he was on a show, but he also had that X factor you know?”
Our thoughts go out to Salling’s friends, family, and his victims during this painful time.