Mark Salling Dropped From ‘Gods and Secrets’ After Child Porn Indictment

Former “Glee” star Mark Salling has been dropped from the film “Gods and Secrets” after being indicted on Friday for receiving and possessing child pornography.

Director Adi Shankar released a statement on Tuesday saying that the project would be “moving forward without” Salling. The actor was set to play a villain in the independent action pic starring Kellan Lutz, Denise Richards and Jane Seymour.

Co-directed by Stewart Yost and penned by Shawn DeLoache from a story by Shankar, the movie explores the dark ramifications of a world filled with superheroes.

Shankar is personally paying for Salling’s scenes to be re-shot, and donating a percentage of profits from the project to a “charity for abused children.”

“I hope that Mark finds inner peace,” Shankar wrote, “Hopefully some good will come of all of this and I pray that when the dust has settled, the hyper-connectivity of the information age that has brought to light the transgressions of several public figures, will also force us to look within our society to identify and eliminate the root cause of the rape culture we exist in.”

Shankar previously said he would cut the actor from the film if the allegations were true, saying he would “immediately take action, which includes removing his scenes from the project.”

Salling, who played Puck on the hit Fox series “Glee,” was arrested on Dec. 29, after investigators seized a laptop, hard drive and USB flash drive from his Sunland, Calif., home. Investigators said Friday that the devices contained thousands of pictures and videos depicting child porn.

If convicted, Salling faces five to 20 years in prison.

Here’s Shankar’s full statement:

The innocence of our planet’s children is something that must be protected at all costs. As entertainers, our role is to be the “conscience of humanity,” striving to make the world better for future generations. Sadly, we live in a country where statistically at least 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, 80,000 children are reportedly sexually abused every year, and at least 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused before the age of 18. According to available data, every two minutes, an American is sexually assaulted. Even more troubling, exponentially more cases go unreported as in most situations, authority figures are ill equipped to help.

The aforementioned statistics are nauseating, reminiscent of a third world country, and until very recently, kept out of the limelight. Child abuse is a cultural cancer whose tentacles penetrate far deeper than a single celebrity caught with illicit images on his computer, just as date rape is a is a far more prominent issue than the repeated transgressions of one mediocre entertainer from the 1970’s. Child abuse is a democratic disease existing across socioeconomic lines affecting every walk of life. It affects all of us, and more importantly, its existence needs to cece to exist. Period.

Adi Shankar’s Gods and Secrets will be moving forward without Mark Salling. He has been cut from the mini-series, I will personally be paying for the reshoots, and I hope that Mark finds inner peace. Furthermore, a percentage of profits from the project will go to a charity for abused children. Hopefully some good will come of all of this and I pray that when the dust has settled, the hyper-connectivity of the information age that has brought to light the transgressions of several public figures, will also force us to look within our society to identify and eliminate the root cause of the rape culture we exist in.

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