If you spent many-a-night watching episodes of Glee and loving Mark Salling’s character Puck, you were undoubtedly dumbfounded when the news of Salling’s arrest on suspicion of possession of child pornography broke earlier this week.
And you weren’t the only one. While most of the world has been shaking their heads, and their fists, at the heinous accusations against Salling — which include being in possession of more than 1,000 images of “child sexual exploitation” on his computer, according to police — those close to him refuse to believe he’s capable of such horrific crimes.
“This isn’t the guy I know at all,” a close friend of Salling reportedly told People magazine. “I have to believe his computer was hacked.”
Another insider told People that, while Salling’s reputation is not squeaky clean, the accusations against him are still extremely hard to believe.
“He loves going out and has always been a big flirt — constantly hitting on women at parties,” the insider told People. “He came across as skeezy but I never would have pegged him for something like this.”
Police were reportedly tipped off by Salling’s ex-girlfriend, so it could be theorized that the woman was trying to set Salling up. However, according to information released by TMZ, it seems that police were very thorough with their investigation before obtaining a warrant and raiding Salling’s property to make sure the ex-girlfriend wasn’t plotting some kind of revenge.
Though the amount of evidence against Salling seems to be piling up, Adi Shankar, the director of Salling’s upcoming movie Gods and Secrets, isn’t ready to throw the towel in on Salling just yet — but he will ax Salling from his film if the allegations turn out to be true.
“Today I was made aware of the serious allegations against Salling as a result of numerous media outlets hounding me as to whether he would remain in Gods and Secrets,” Adi Shankar told E! News. “I won’t feed our growing pitchfork culture. I’m going to wait for all the facts to arrive and if in fact these allegations are true, I will immediately take action which includes removing his scenes from the project.”
Of course, in the court of public opinion, Salling has already been tried and convicted.
Hi pedo, I hope you riot in hell for your disgusting sins!! @MarkSalling
— Mini Cooper (@whalien2018) December 31, 2015
@MarkSalling you're a disgusting human being and you should have stayed in jail, you piece of shit
— faggot (@holyfrnkiero) December 31, 2015
Salling was released on $20,000 bail shortly after being arrested at his home in Sunland, CA on Tuesday, according to TMZ.