Mark Salling’s suicide this week has drawn new attention to his troubled relationships, including a girlfriend who claims that the Glee star sexually assaulted her and then threw her to the ground when she confronted him.
Salling reportedly took his life this week ahead of sentencing for a child pornography conviction. The actor was facing between four and seven years in prison when he was to be sentenced in March, CNN reported. Salling’s body was found in a wooded area outside of Los Angeles, the victim of an apparent suicide.
But the troubles for Mark Salling started long before his child pornography conviction, including an incident with a former girlfriend that generated headlines in the celebrity news world. Former girlfriend Roxanne Gorzela claimed in a lawsuit that Salling forced unprotected sex on her when they were dating in 2011. According to TMZ, Gorzela later went to Salling’s apartment to confront him, as she was worried that she may have contracted an STD, and she said he threw her to the ground.
Gorzela said the incident left her filled with anxiety and facing medical bills, E! Online reported.
The case ended up being settled with Salling agreeing to pay her $2.7 million in damages. But there was a strange twist — the money was paid out by Salling’s insurance company, State Farm, and Salling himself actually got a cut of the settlement after it was determined that the company initially denied the claim incorrectly.
Salling is now the second star from Glee to die tragically. In the summer of 2013, actor Cory Monteith died of a drug overdose, just weeks after he had reportedly gotten clean and back on track.
Though Salling was facing serious prison time for his conviction, his death still hit fans of the show hard. Many of his co-stars spoke out, remembering Salling as a talented actor who was working to atone for his very serious mistakes.
Mark Salling’s girlfriend has not issued a statement in the wake of his suicide death, and neither have any of the other women connected to the actor during his lifetime. His most high-profile relationship was with fellow Glee star Naya Rivera, who told ET Online after their relationship ended that Salling always seemed like a “dark soul” to her.