Mark Salling is leaving Glee along with four original cast members, and the exit may be because Salling’s off-screen life was a little too close to his on-screen character.
Glee creator Ryan Murphy said the move was meant to be a natural evolution for the show. Because the show is based on a high school, the cast needs to change from time to time to keep it fresh, he said.
Still, it seems that Salling’s behavior may have had something to do with his exit from Glee. The 30-year-old actor, who played bad boy Puck on the Fox musical, has been involved in a number of incidents off-screen that brought bad headlines for the show.
Earlier this year an ex-girlfriend accused Mark Salling of forcing her to have sex without a condom, an incident that took place in March 2011. Roxanne Gorzela had been dating the actor since 2010, and said on the night in question she consented to sex but only if Salling used protection. She claims he ignored her and proceeded to “insert his penis into [her] vagina without a condom.”
Gorzela said he stopped after she protested, but later re-engaged again without a condom. She claims she tried to call to ask if he had been tested for STDs, and went to Salling’s house when he did not respond. Salling responded by grabbing Gorzela and pushing her to the ground, a police report from the day of the attack states.
Gorzela is now suing Mark Salling, accusing him of sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence. The suit says Gorzela sustained “severe and substantial mental and emotional distress, humiliation, fear, apprehension, anxiety and anguish” as a result of Salling’s behavior.
Salling’s publicist denied the charges, saying: “There is no truth to this. It’s the textbook case of a disgruntled girl looking to cash in on a TV star’s success. We turn the rest over to Mark’s attorneys and have no further comment.”
Though Mark Salling has yet to have his day in court, it’s not the first time the Glee actor has caused trouble for the show. In 2010 he dated co-star Naya Rivera, but as they were never officially a couple Salling continued on with a number of other women. This reportedly caused an enraged Rivera to key his car.
Glee will continue on with Mark Salling, starting its fifth season in September.