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Drake Bell on allegations against himself compared to Brian Peck abuse


Drake Bell is questioning narratives that frame his life story as a “cycle of abuse.”

In a new interview with Today, the Drake & Josh star discussed the aftermath of Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, the Investigation Documentary series in which he revealed he was the teenage victim of “extensive” sexual abuse from Nickelodeon dialogue coach Brian Peck. At one point, the conversation between the actor and NBC News’ Kate Snow turned toward abuse allegations against Bell from a 2021 court case.

Drake Bell.

Gonzalo Marroquin/Getty


In that case, Bell pleaded guilty to a felony charge of attempted child endangerment and a misdemeanor charge of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, related to inappropriate texts he sent to a teen girl in 2017. He was sentenced to two years of probation and 200 hours of community service.

“It could sound to some people like a contradiction, that you’re speaking out about your own past and trying to help other children avoid being abused, and yet you pleaded guilty to doing something with a younger girl,” Snow said.

However, Bell maintained that he never had any physical contact with the teenager in question, and that he pulled the plug on all communications once he found out she was a minor. “It got to a place, where there were some messages that shouldn’t have been exchanged,” he said. “And that’s why I [pleaded] guilty. But once the age was revealed, that’s when I stopped communication — I blocked her on everything.”

“I also think that there is a picture that a lot of people are painting of a cycle of abuse,” Bell continued. “‘Oh, well, he did to someone else what has been done to him.’”

Bell doesn’t think it’s fair to compare his actions with the abuse he survived as a teenager. “I should never have engaged with anybody online, even if I knew what their age was. Anything like that … absolutely should not have happened,” he said. “But it’s a very difficult parallel to make, between that and what I endured at 14 years old, the physical abuse that I went through, the things that [Peck] had done to me, over, and over, and over, and how dark it got.”

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Drake Bell.

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At Bell’s sentencing hearing, the victim described the actor as “the epitome of evil,” and alleged that the actor began grooming her when she was 12 and sexually abusing her at 15. “He was calculating. He preyed on me and sexually abused me,” she said.

Bell was also accused of physical and verbal abuse by an ex-girlfriend in 2020. Though he denied these allegations at the time, the actor has not acknowledged them in the wake of Quiet on Set.

Elsewhere in the Today interview, Bell discussed reconnecting with his high school girlfriend Gillian, whose mother played a key role in ending Peck’s abuse. “When the documentary came out, (Gillian) called me, and she was just bawling. She was like, ‘Finally,’” he remembered. “As much as a weight has been lifted for me, I really feel that from [Gillian] also.”

“She had a lot of emotion attached to this that she was working [on], dealing with through all these years,” Bell continued “She saw the change from that innocent, vulnerable, young boy that [I was] when we started dating… And she was angry and saw what was taken away from me.”

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.


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