Josh Peck has broken his silence about Drake Bell's child endangerment scandal. Peck, who starred alongside Bell on Drake & Josh from 2004 to 2007, called the news "disappointing."
"It's upsetting, and it's an unfortunate situation," the 34-year-old actor told Variety. "It's disappointing."
Bell, 35, was sentenced to two years probation and 200 hours of community service for committing crimes against a child. The singer pleaded guilty to one count of felony attempted child endangerment and one count of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. He faced up to two years in prison.
During Monday's sentencing hearing, Bell's victim spoke to the court and accused the child star of sexual assault during her impact statement.
"He was such a huge part of my childhood, and in return, he ruined my life," the girl, now 19, declared. "Jared Drake Bell is a pedophile, and that is his legacy."
Bell's attorney denied pedophile allegations, making it clear his client wasn't pleading guilty to sexual assault. However, the actor admitted to engaging in chats with the woman when she was 15 that were "sexual in nature."
"I just want to say today that I accept this plea because my conduct was wrong. I'm sorry that the victim was harmed in any way," Bell told the court. "That was obviously not my intention. I have taken this matter very, very seriously and again, I just want to apologize to her and anyone else who may have been affected by my actions."
Peck and Bell maintained a friendship after the Nickelodeon show ended, albeit a rocky one at times. In 2017, Peck didn't invite his former co-star to his wedding — and Bell went off on Twitter.
"When you're not invited to the wedding the message is clear…," Bell wrote in since-deleted messages. "Loyalty is key… ALWAYS remember where you came from."
Bell spoke about the snub to People, explaining, "I was caught off guard. I hadn't heard anything about it... there are no hard feelings."
The actors ultimately reconciled, but the nature of their friendship in recent years is unclear.
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