At its core, Glee was a fun, lighthearted show. Sure, it tackled serious topics - with varying degrees of success - but in general, much of the appeal of the series was that it was a bright, shiny alternative to what had become a very dark, gritty television landscape. Viewers could relate to the rag-tag group of kids who used music in order to make it through high school. Glee also happened to be smart, funny, and unlike anything else on TV.
The problem with a show that revolves around high school kids is that these young stars are inevitably catapulted into a spotlight that they are often not ready for. Aside from the difficulties that come with living in the public eye, these kids are exposed to certain elements of fame that many adults aren’t even equipped to deal with. Not everyone manages to handle the situation gracefully. Some celebrities learn to cope, but there are others whose story has a tragic ending.
Although the cast of Glee were beloved by fans, the set was plagued by feuds, drug use, and drama. If you strip away that polished veneer, there are quite a few skeletons in the practice room closet.
Here are 15 Dark Secrets Behind Glee You Had No Idea About.
15 Lea Michele and Naya Rivera's ongoing feud
There were rumors of this feud throughout Glee’s six season run and although pretty much everyone denied that it was happening, Naya Rivera’s book revealed the truth. She stated that while the onset discord did indeed exist, it was also wildly blown out of proportion. According to Rivera, “I think Rachel—erm, I mean Lea—didn't like sharing the spotlight.”
Co-creator Ryan Murphy opened up about the the bad blood between Rivera (Santana Lopez) and Michele (Rachel Berry) earlier this year. He joked that they could star in the next season of his hit series, Feud, but then got serious. Murphy agreed that the hatred between his two stars had been exaggerated. He acknowledged that the issue existed, but also made sure to state that the guys argued a lot too. Murphy didn’t name anyone specific, saying,”You never hear about that. You never hear about that in our culture."
14 The cast ignored Lea Michele at the Grammys
Rumors had been running rampant about Lea Michele’s diva behavior on the Glee set for months before the 2011 Grammys. It was easy to dismiss the reports as bogus, at least, until Michele took the stage at the award show to introduce Lady Antebellum. Not only did most of her fellow cast members pay little to no attention, but aside from lack of applause, there were also apparently a few eyerolls.
It’s not that no one from Glee got love from the cast. Matthew Morrison got thunderous applause from them when he was on stage later in the evening. This appeared to be an issue that the cast was completely united on. Dianna Agron was the only one of Michele’s costars who seemed supportive. Ouch.
13 Mark Salling was accused of assault
In 2013, Mark Salling, known for playing Noah “Puck” Puckerman, made headlines when his ex girlfriend Roxanne Gorzela accused him of assault. First, he forced her to have unprotected sex. Then, when she confronted him about the incident - she was concerned about STDs - Gorzela’s head was injured when he shoved her to the ground. She filed a lawsuit and the actor was forced to pay her a whopping 2.7 million dollars.
This isn’t even the only time that Salling was accused of assault. He was also accused of forcing himself on a woman back in 2012. Unfortunately, because she came forward four years later, there was insufficient evidence to file a case against him. Although Salling didn't go down for this crime, the law would eventually catch up to him - more on that later.
12 The cast did an intervention with Cory Monteith
Cory Monteith’s struggle with drugs began when he was just twelve years old. After years lost to the disease of addiction, Monteith managed to find his way into recovery. He had been clean for years before he landed the role of Finn Hudson on Glee. His castmates were shocked when he started drinking, but didn’t know enough about addiction not to believe his claims that he could drink in moderation.
When the cast planned an intervention, Monteith was receptive. He entered rehab with girlfriend Lea Michele standing by him the entire time. When the actor returned from treatment, the rest of the cast felt that he was on the path to recovery and had no idea that his battle was ongoing.
Sadly, Monteith died at the age of thirty-one in a Vancouver hotel on July 13th, 2013 due to a fatal combination of heroin and alcohol.
11 Naya Rivera keyed Mark Salling’s because he cheated on her
Naya Rivera and Mark Salling dated for a while during Glee’s early seasons. The couple certainly had their ups and downs. Although the two were on-again-off-again, Rivera did not take it well when she found out that Salling was seeing other people.
Rivera was crushed when Salling broke up with her, but it was learning that she wasn’t the only lady in his life that really pushed her over the edge. She and a friend keyed his car, but that wasn’t all. They also egged the vehicle and poured dog food all over it. That’s certainly one way to let someone know that their behavior is unacceptable. Rivera didn’t realize this at the time, but she now knows that she definitely dodged a bullet.
10 Lea Michele threatened to call SAG over unsafe working conditions
When you think of a series like Glee, it most likely doesn’t occur to you that the cast’s working conditions may not have been safe. However, according to Lea Michele, that was definitely the case. She nearly called SAG in regards to a specific issue affecting the entire cast. The air conditioning system had stopped working and they were forced to continue singing and dancing anyway.
It was apparently Michele’s threat to involve the Screen Actors Guild that solved the problem. Let’s be honest, though, Fox probably wouldn’t have left its young stars to suffer for too long anyway. Plus, it’s unknown how long the air conditioning was actually down. Although we all know that working without A/C isn’t ideal, it’s not exactly Foxconn.
9 Naya Rivera was arrested and charged with domestic battery
In November 2017, Naya Rivera was arrested and charged with domestic battery following an argument between her and husband, Ryan Dorsey. He claimed that Rivera hit him in the head and he even had a cellphone video to prove it - eerily reminiscent of the haunting video Amber Heard has of Johnny Depp behaving erratically toward her.
Rivera and Dorsey have a long history. They dated before she was cast in Glee and then again during her time on the series. The two were married in 2014, mere months after Big Sean called off his engagement to the actress. In the past year, Rivera and Dorsey have both announced and called off their divorce. They have one child together.
8 Dianna Agron wasn’t invited to the Cory Monteith tribute episode
“When we cast Dianna as Quinn, she ruined the part for me. She was supposed to be the Cybill Shepherd, ‘Last Picture Show,’ so to speak, but she humanized it. She can cry at the drop of a hat. So now her character has a conscience, a soul, and great vulnerability.” Ryan Murphy has said this of casting Dianna Agron as Quinn Fabray, but why exactly was the actress absent from the Cory Monteith tribute episode, “The Quarterback”?
There are conflicting reports about why Agron missed this special segment honoring her late friend. According to the actress, she has nothing but love for the show and her castmates. However, it has long been rumored that both Murphy and Lea Michele are not fans of Agron. She wasn’t even invited back for the episode, despite the fact that her character had strong ties to Finn and most of the original cast made appearances.
7 Naya Rivera’s mother freaked out over her make-out scenes with Heather Morris
Santana and Brittany were an unexpected, but beloved Glee couple. Brittany was the first person that Santana truly loved and most fans were overjoyed when the two got together. They were one of the show’s most popular romantic relationships.
Well, there was at least one viewer who was particularly put out by the couple: Naya Rivera’s mom. Apparently, she was so upset over the steamy kiss between Santana and Brittany prior to their wedding that she literally screamed. According to Rivera, the smooch wasn’t as intense as it looked and she talked her mother down by revealing a behind the scenes tidbit. “The trick is to go in with an open mouth, then close it as soon as you make contact.”
6 Lea Michele has been accused of using Cory Monteith’s death to gain publicity
After Cory Monteith’s death in 2013, his girlfriend, Lea Michele, became a symbol of hope for many. She handled an unthinkable tragedy with grace and anyone who had suffered a similar loss could relate. Michele’s tearful Teen Choice Awards speech was as heartfelt as it was heartbreaking.
Some have criticized Michele in the years since Monteith’s death, claiming that she still drops his name to get attention. This accusation is particularly hurtful as it is most likely made by people who have no idea what it feels like to lose someone they love, especially to the disease of addiction.
If Michele made an offhand comment about how much Monteith would’ve loved her new beau, Matthew Paetz, perhaps that’s because she still considered his feelings years after his death, not because she’s hoping for more recognition.
5 Ryan Murphy had to make a "no hookups on set" rule
When a bunch of attractive people are working together all day, every day it makes sense that they would be drawn to one another romantically. However, Ryan Murphy probably hadn’t banked on just how overcome with hormones his young stars would be. In light of everyone hooking up with one another on set nonstop, he was forced to lay down the law. “I have a rule: don’t do it in your trailer. They’ve broken that rule on many occasions,” Murphy said.
Murphy has more than once referred to himself as the “dad” on set and as the patriarch, enforcing these rules fell to him. He did his best, but how successful can one even hope to be in that scenario? Although Murphy declined to reveal the names of those caught up in the throes of passion, everyone has their own guesses.
4 Hardly any cast members attended Heather Morris’s baby shower
It always seemed that most of the Glee cast was quite close - more family than friends. When Heather Morris, who portrayed Brittany Pierce, held her baby shower in 2013, much of the female cast was notably absent from the event. Perhaps they were busy, but you would think that Amber Riley, Dianna Agron or Lea Michele could put aside some time for a friend - Naya Rivera and Vanessa Lengies were there.
Based on what this list has shown thus far, as close-knit as the stars were, they’ve had their fair share of drama with one another. Maybe fans think that they are friends in real life because they want them to be, rather than because they actually are. Of course, it is also possible that there is no conspiracy at all and that the other actresses simply could not make the shower.
3 Naya Rivera says her love scenes with Monteith were incredibly awkward
If the actors involved have chemistry, sex scenes can get pretty steamy. However, there is generally nothing sexy at all about filming these moments. It’s take after take of someone telling you how to tilt your head to get the best light. This can make it fairly difficult to make these scenes even remotely believable.
Naya Rivera has stated that her make-out scenes with Cory Monteith were incredibly awkward. According to the actress, he was “a little hot and bothered, nervous about the whole thing.” In Rivera’s book she elaborated on what the experience of working with Monteith in this capacity was like. “Instead of a slow spin he picked me up awkwardly, and turned around so fast that I practically got whiplash.” That certainly doesn’t sound very sexy.
2 Ryan Murphy has a lot of regrets about the series
As the patriarch of the Glee family, Ryan Murphy felt responsible for his young stars. In light of everything that happened, especially where Cory Monteith is concerned, Murphy harbors immense guilt and regret - a sentiment he shares with the rest of the cast. He feels that he blurred the lines between work and family. As much as Murphy wanted to parent the cast, it turned out that none of them were really looking for an authority figure.
Although Murphy did his best to save Monteith from himself, there was ultimately nothing he could do. ”We hugged, and the last thing he said was ‘I love you, man, and thank you for helping me get better.' And then the next thing I knew he was dead. It was like losing a child.”
Murphy learned a lot from Glee, but now feels that the real lesson was what not to do in the future.
1 Mark Salling's disturbing arrest and conviction
Just when fans thought that their memories of Puck couldn’t be tarnished any more than they already were, Mark Salling was arrested for possession of inappropriate images of children. When the LAPD's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force raided his home at the end of 2015, they discovered hundreds of images and some videos of kids “significantly younger than fifteen or sixteen.” They later uncovered thousands more. Apparently it was Salling’s ex girlfriend who gave them the tip.
Salling recently pled guilty to the charges in exchange for a reduced sentence. He will serve four to seven years followed by twenty years of supervised release. Salling will need to register as a sex offender and won’t be allowed to spend time with any minors without a guardian present. Aside from that, he will not be permitted within one hundred feet of pools, parks, playgrounds, arcades or schools. Salling must also pay restitution to the victims.
Do you know any other dark secrets behind Glee? Let us know in the comments!