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Drake Bell addresses abuse allegations against him in Nickelodeon docuseries

"I did what was asked of me, but the media grabbed a hold of so much misinformation, and it absolutely destroyed me," the former child star says in ID's "Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV."

Drake Bell is reflecting on the mistakes of his past.

In the new Investigation Discovery documentary series Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, the Drake & Josh actor speaks publicly for the first time about the repeated sexual abuse he survived as a teenager, which was perpetrated by Nickelodeon dialogue coach Brian Peck, who was later convicted. In the final segment of the four-part series (out tonight on ID), Bell discusses how his trauma led him down a dark path. “There was definitely a slow decline in my mental health and sobriety, I mean, DUIs, behaviors that were happening because I was, I was lost,” Bell said.

“Right after Drake & Josh, I was signed, and then I released my second album,” Bell explained. “I made some really cool movies, but I would have stints of sobriety, and then I would, you know — the pressure would be too much, and all of these demons that I had were very difficult to work through,” he described. “And so I think a lot of my self-destructive behavior would always just be a temporary fix, and it [would] always creep back up. I went through this bankruptcy and lost my house. I mean, it was absolutely devastating.”

In 2021, Bell pleaded guilty to a felony charge of attempted child endangerment and a misdemeanor charge of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, related to inappropriate text messages he sent to a teenage girl in 2017. He was sentenced to two years of probation and 200 hours of community service.

Michael Tran/Getty Drake Bell
Michael Tran/Getty Drake Bell

During the sentencing hearing, the victim called Bell "the epitome of evil," and accused the actor of grooming that began when she was 12 before allegedly sexually abusing her at 15. "He was calculating. He preyed on me and sexually abused me," she said, and also accused him of sending her pictures of his genitals. "He is a monster and a danger to children."

The actor was not charged for doing anything physical, and he and his attorney disputed allegations of misconduct, insisting at the time that the contact included only text messages, not photos, nor anything sexual in nature.

“I took responsibility for that, you know, I did what was asked of me, but the media grabbed a hold of so much misinformation, and it absolutely destroyed me,” Bell said of the attempted child endangerment case in the docuseries. “And I started to spin out of control. If I had continued down that path, that could very likely be the end of my story.”

Bell said that his trajectory improved when he eventually sought help. “I was at rock bottom, and so I checked into treatment, and I got to go through a lot of trauma therapy, a lot of grief therapy, and be surrounded by people who, for the first time in a long time, wanted to just see me get better,” he said.

Bell was also accused of physical and verbal abuse by an ex-girlfriend in 2020. He denied those allegations at the time, but there is no explicit mention of them in the documentary.

Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV episodes 1 and 2 are on ID now. Episodes 3 and 4 will air Monday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ID.

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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