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Former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell speaks out about being sexually abused as a 15-year-old child actor

Former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell speaks out about being sexually abused as a 15-year-old child actor
  • The "Drake & Josh" star Drake Bell says a Nickelodeon dialogue coach sexually abused him when he was 15.

  • The coach, Brian Peck, was sentenced to 16 months in prison in 2004 over child-sexual-abuse charges.

  • Bell is sharing his story publicly for the first time in "Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV."

Drake Bell is speaking out for the first time about sexual abuse he says he experienced as a 15-year-old child star.

Bell is sharing his story in the coming Investigation Discovery series "Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV," set to air March 17 and 18.

In the documentary, Bell says he was abused by Brian Peck, a dialogue coach who worked on Nickelodeon's "All That" and "The Amanda Show." Bell starred on "The Amanda Show" from 1999 to 2002 before landing his own Nickelodeon series, "Drake & Josh," which debuted in 2004.

Peck was arrested in August 2003 on 11 charges related to allegations that he'd sexually abused an unnamed child. In May 2004, Peck pleaded no contest to performing a lewd act with a 14- or 15-year-old and to oral copulation with a minor under 16. He was sentenced to 16 months in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender in October 2004.

For more than two decades, Bell has remained anonymous as the minor in that case.

Amanda Bynes posing with fellow Nickelodeon stars Drake Bell and Josh Peck at the 2004 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards.
Brian Peck worked on "The Amanda Show," which starred Drake Bell alongside Amanda Bynes and Josh Peck (who is unrelated to the dialogue coach).Kevin Mazur/WireImage

"Quiet on Set," produced by Maxine Productions and Sony Pictures Television — Nonfiction, in association with Business Insider, examines the toxic underpinnings of iconic children's television shows created by Dan Schneider in the '90s and early 2000s. The docuseries is directed by Mary Robertson and Emma Schwartz.

In 2022, BI published an investigation into Schneider's children's-TV empire. Former child actors and crew members who worked on shows including "The Amanda Show," "Zoey 101," and "Victorious" told BI that Schneider created an uncomfortable, bizarre environment on set. In 2000, a writer on "The Amanda Show" filed a gender-discrimination and hostile-workplace claim saying that Schneider persistently requested massages, according to people with knowledge, who said the case was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. Others told BI that Schneider wrote sexualized scenes and campaigned for young female stars to wear skimpy outfits.

Schneider parted ways with Nickelodeon in 2018. Russell Hicks, Nickelodeon's former president of content and production, said in a statement to BI in 2022 that all of Schneider's work was "carefully scrutinized and approved."

In recent years, headlines about Bell have focused on his mental health and substance use. In 2021, a young fan accused him of sending explicit messages and having sexual contact with her in 2017, when she was 15. Bell pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted child endangerment and a charge of disseminating harmful material to a minor, though he denied allegations that he had sexual contact with the fan or sent explicit messages. He said he stopped messaging with her when he found out she was a teenager.

"Quiet on Set" features exclusive interviews with former child stars and crew members from Schneider's shows, many of whom are speaking publicly for the first time.

You can watch the new footage featuring Bell below:

Kate Taylor served as an executive producer for "Quiet on Set." She published BI's 2022 investigation into Schneider's empire at Nickelodeon.

March 7, 2024: This story has been updated with details about a 2021 case involving Bell.

Read the original article on Business Insider