Drake Bell believes his abuser Brian Peck 'fooled' stars including James Marsden into defending him and isn't angry at them

Drake Bell believes his abuser Brian Peck 'fooled' stars including James Marsden into defending him and isn't angry at them
  • Drake Bell said he believed Brian Peck fooled stars into defending him after he was accused of abuse.

  • In 2003, the dialogue coach was charged with sexually abusing a child, recently revealed to be Bell.

  • During the trial, actors including James Marsden wrote letters of support for Peck.

Drake Bell said he believed Brian Peck, an ex-dialogue coach, "fooled" stars into writing him letters of support after he was charged in 2003 with sexually abusing the Nickelodeon child actor.

On the third and fourth episodes of Investigation Discovery's documentary "Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV," Bell spoke publicly for the first time about being sexually abused by Peck when he was 15.

The series is partly based on Business Insider's 2022 reporting on the abusive environment at Nickelodeon in the early 2000s.

The studio created some of the biggest kids TV shows of the past 30 years, including "Drake & Josh," starring Bell, "Zoey 101," and "iCarly."

In October 2004, Peck was sentenced to 16 months in prison after he was found guilty of 11 counts of child sexual abuse. He also had to register as a sex offender.

Some 41 people who knew Peck, including friends and family, wrote letters of support for the dialogue coach before he was sentenced. This included the "X-Men" and "Sonic the Hedgehog" star James Marsden and the "How I Met Your Mother" alumnus Taran Killam.

On Tuesday's episode of the "Not Skinny but Not Fat" podcast, Bell spoke about the huge public reaction to "Quiet on Set" and was asked about those who defended Peck during the trial.

"I think a lot of people were fooled," Bell told the host Amanda Hirsch. "I think Brian was able to pull the wool over a lot of people's eyes and paint a picture that was a far cry from reality.

"I can't speak to what was going through anyone's mind at the time or now, or how they're processing it or anything like that, but I think Brian was able to fool a lot of people."

He added: "At the time, I was just happy, well not happy, but I was just relieved for it to all be over, you know? I don't really harbor any anger — it's just confusion.

"But like I said, he was very good at fooling people, and people process things differently. I think it would just add too much to what I've been through, or what I'm going through, to harbor anger."

The letters were sealed until Maxine Productions, the company behind "Quiet on Set," petitioned the court to unseal them in 2023.

Bell said those who wrote letters of support for Peck hadn't apologized

According to his letter, Marsden was a teenager when he met Peck through a friend and the coach encouraged him to move to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.

"I've known Brian for 14 years and never once did I ever see any sign of him being capable of something like this," Marsden wrote at the time. "I have lived at his house for months and shared hotel rooms with him and never once did he ever make me feel compromised or uncomfortable in any way."

On Friday's episode of "The Sarah Fraser Show," Bell said that he hadn't heard from anybody who wrote the letters.

"I haven't gotten an apology, or a sorry, from anybody that had written letters or was involved in supporting him at all," he said, before adding that some of the people who supported Peck went on to work on "Drake & Josh."

"I worked with these people every day, and I thought they were my friends," he said. "They were people in positions of power. They were my bosses. They were directors. They were producers."

Representatives for Marsden, Killam, and Peck did not immediately respond to requests for comment from BI.

Correction: April 2, 2024 — An earlier version of this story misspelled the surname of an actor. It's Marsden, not Marden. It also misspelled the surname of a podcast host. It's Hirsch, not Kirsch.

"Quiet on Set" is produced by Maxine Productions, a part of Sony Pictures Television Nonfiction, in association with Business Insider.

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