Gwendolyn Purdom
Updated Jan 31, 2018 @ 10:25 am

A few hours after his lawyer confirmed reports of Mark Salling’s death, a few of the late actor’s Glee collaborators have taken to social media to express their feelings. But the messages have been far more restrained than when other actors and actresses have lost their lives so young, and it likely has to do with the fact that, at the time of Mark Salling’s apparent suicide, he was weeks away from being sentenced for possession of child pornography, charges he pled guilty to in October.

Iqbal Theba, who played Principal Figgins on Glee, kept his tweet short and open to interpretation, posting only “Oh Mark.” Paris Barclay, who directed a handful of Glee episodes, posted a photo of himself — on what appears to be the Glee set — with Salling and the late Cory Monteith, who played Puck’s (Salling) best friend Finn, and died of a drug overdose at age 31 in 2013. “Two young actors, lost too soon,” Barclay captioned his post. Matthew Morrison, who played Glee club leader Will Schuester, also shared a photo with Monteith and Salling.

Other former colleagues of Mark Salling’s acknowledged the criminal charges the actor had admitted to and their complicated emotions upon hearing news of his death.

Salling was arrested in 2015 following a report from his then-girlfriend that she’d found thousands of images of young children on his computer. According to People, Salling had struck a plea deal and was set to be sentenced for his crimes in March (reports indicate he would have served between four and seven years in prison). Previously, Salling had been accused of rape, sexual battery, and assault, though charges were never filed in the rape claim and charges were dropped in the sexual battery claim.

Glee producer Tim Davis clarified his original tweet that had described Salling as a “broken man” after many pointed to Salling’s crimes and their victims:

Jane Lynch, who played gym teacher Sue Sylvester on Glee, retweeted Davis’ latter post, and later told TMZ, “It’s tragic and I’m brokenhearted over it.” Jenna Ushkowitz, who played Tina on the musical comedy, retweeted Barclay’s message.

Mark Salling, who was from Dallas, played in bands and had aspirations of being a singer-songwriter when he moved to California. Glee is the main acting project he’s known for, but he’d also appeared in a few small projects as a child, including his role as the son of Naomi Watts’ character in Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering.