Former Nickelodeon Star Drake Bell Details Alleged Sexual Abuse By Dialogue Coach: ‘It Was Extensive and Brutal’

 Former child star Drake Bell is speaking candidly about the alleged sexual abuse he endured as a teenager while working in Hollywood.

The 37-year-old actor discussed his experience as part of the upcoming ID documentary “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV,” which premieres on March 17. Bell said he was assaulted at the age of 15 by Brian Peck, who was a dialogue coach for “The Amanda Show” on Nickelodeon.

Peck was arrested on 11 charges in 2003, including sodomy, lewd act upon a child 14 or 15 by a person 10 years older, and oral copulation by anesthesia or controlled substance. The minor’s name was not released at the time, but Bell is now saying he was the plaintiff in the case. Peck pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 16 months in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender, per Variety.

Bell described the alleged assault in detail. He said it occurred after a sleepover at Peck’s house, which he did occasionally because Peck lived closer to auditions than his mom or dad did.

“I was sleeping on the couch where I would usually sleep. I woke up to him — I opened my eyes, I woke up and he was sexually assaulting me. I froze and was in complete shock and had no idea what to do or how to react, and I have no idea how to get out of this situation,” Bell said. 

The actor said it “became this secret” because he didn’t want to be questioned by friends and colleagues. He remembers Peck acting “so apologetic” following the abuse and promising it wouldn’t happen again.

“He figured out how to convince my mom and everyone around to, anytime I would have an audition or anytime I needed to work on dialogue or anything, I somehow ended up back at Brian’s house and it just got worse and worse and worse and worse. I was just trapped. I had no way out,” the former child star continued.

“The abuse was extensive and it got pretty brutal. I don’t know how to elaborate on that on camera, really… Why don’t you think of the worst stuff that someone could do to somebody as a sexual assault, and then I’ll answer your question. I don’t know how else to put it.”

Bell’s father, who was his manager at the time, said he felt uncomfortable with Peck being around his young son, but was told by show execs that he was acting “homophobic” because Peck was gay.

“I go, ‘I don’t see anything abnormal but it just doesn’t — I don’t have a good feeling,'” Bell’s dad Joe said. He was allegedly told that Peck was just a “touchy-feely guy” so he “backed off” after being “ostracized” for voicing his concerns, the outlet noted.

“The Amanda Show” guest star Kyle Sullivan said Peck had an autographed clown poster hanging in his garage, which he said was given to him by convicted sex offender and serial killer John Wayne Gacy. He allegedly showed some of the child actors letters he received from Gacy after becoming pen pals with him in prison.

“Your instinct is to give someone the benefit of the doubt if you’ve known them for that long, even in the face of this really bad sign,” Sullivan said of the incident. “This man, who is like trusted as basically a supervisor of kids, is not safe.”

Bell said his girlfriend’s mother realized something was amiss when Peck repeatedly called for him one night when he was at her house. She didn’t call the police, but rather took him to a therapist.

“I was just so scared to say anything, I didn’t know how to explain [it]. I still don’t. … I’ve never talked about this outside of therapy. I just said, ‘No, everything’s normal, things are getting a little weird but nothing’s happened. Good thing we caught it when we did.'”

Bell said Peck used intimidation and fear to keep him from telling anyone about the abuse. But when Peck tried to get cast as the father in the Nickelodeon sitcom “Drake & Josh,” the then-teen finally revealed to his mother that he’d been abused. She called the police, which led to an investigation into Peck, and eventually his arrest and trial.

During the documentary, Bell also discussed his subsequent struggles with drug and alcohol abuse.

A spokesperson for Nickelodeon provided the following statement to Variety: “Though we cannot corroborate or negate allegations of behaviors from productions decades ago, Nickelodeon as a matter of policy investigates all formal complaints as part of our commitment to fostering a safe and professional workplace environment free of harassment or other kinds of inappropriate conduct.”

It continued, “Our highest priorities are the well-being and best interests not just of our employees, casts and crew, but of all children, and we have adopted numerous safeguards over the years to help ensure we are living up to our own high standards and the expectations of our audience.”

The statement concluded, “Now that Drake Bell has disclosed his identity as the plaintiff in the 2004 case, we are dismayed and saddened to learn of the trauma he has endured, and we commend and support the strength required to come forward.”

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