'Quiet on Set' participant Drake Bell explains prior child endangerment guilty plea

'Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV' releases a new episode on Sunday

Drake Bell is addressing his prior guilty plea for "crimes against a child" nearly three years ago. The former Nickelodeon star was sentenced to two years' probation by an Ohio judge in 2021 after pleading guilty to criminal charges involving a minor. 

Now, Bell is shedding light on why he pleaded guilty even though he stands behind the notion that the allegations made against him were "not true."

"I responded on some DMs and was incredibly irresponsible and got myself into conversations that I shouldn’t have had," Bell said Tuesday on the "Not Skinny But Not Fat" podcast episode.


Close up of Drake Bell

"Drake & Josh" star Drake Bell says his prior guilty plea for "crimes against a child" was skewed because he was financially "devastated." (Michael Bezjian/Getty Images for Mulholland Drive Entertainment on behalf of Sabra Dipping Co)

"I ended up finding out that I was talking to someone that I shouldn’t have been talking to, and it snowballed into these allegations that were not true, and it just turned into this big thing," he continued.

In 2021, the female victim was 19 and accused Bell of being a pedophile. She also accused him of sexual misconduct on two occasions, and of sending her "blatantly" sexual photos and messages when she was a teen. 

"I had just had a son, and I didn’t want to put my family through all of this anymore," Bell said on the podcast. "I ended up going through the process the way that I did. Very regretful."

Drake Bell in a suit and tie in front of a white wall mugshot photo

Drake Bell pleaded guilty in 2021 to one felony and one misdemeanor charge involving a minor. (Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office via AP)

Bell said he stopped communication with the young woman after three years of contact when he found out she was 15 years old.

"I was doing everything I could to kind of keep my distance," Bell told podcast host Amanda Hirsch. "A lot of the things she said about sending inappropriate pictures and things like this, it was able to be investigated and show that none of that existed."

Bell explained that he's since taken "responsibility" for "having those conversations" with a minor.

Drake Bell poses for cameras at a red carpet event.

Drake Bell appears in the docuseries "Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV." (Christopher Polk)

placeholder"There’s just so much that I’ve had to deal with, and through that, like I said, not having the tools or not knowing how to process things, I made a lot of decisions in my life that I shouldn’t have made and hurt a lot of people," he said.


"But now, where I am in my life now, I think that I’m finally at a place where I can process and deal with this through therapy, that I’ve been through and actively going through, unearthing all of these things and being able to face them head-on for, really, the first time in my life."

In the bombshell docuseries "Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV," which debuted in March, Bell opened up for the first time about the alleged sexual abuse he experienced at the hands of Brian Peck, a dialogue coach and actor frequently employed by Nickelodeon.

Brian Peck holds a doll at comic convention

Brian Peck was convicted of a lewd act against a child and oral copulation of a person under 16 in 2003. He spent 16 months in prison. (Albert L. Ortega)

Bell starred on "The Amanda Show" and "Drake & Josh" during his time with Nickelodeon, where he encountered and was allegedly abused by Brian Peck (no relation to Bell's co-star Josh Peck).

Bell recalled the day the relationship went from uncomfortable to full-blown assault and abuse.

"I was sleeping on the couch where I would usually sleep, and I woke up to him … I opened my eyes, I woke up and he was sexually assaulting me. And I froze and was in complete shock and had no idea what to do or how to react," Bell said. "And I had no idea how to get out of the situation. … What do I do, call my mom, ‘Hey, can you come pick me up? This just happened, I’ll sit here and wait.’ I had no car, I didn’t drive. I was 15 at this time."

Drake and Josh from Nickelodeon

Drake Bell, left, and Josh Peck starred on Nickelodeon's "Drake & Josh." (Getty Images)


He continued, "The abuse was extensive. And it got pretty brutal, pretty brutal. I don’t know, I really don’t know how to elaborate on that on camera really."

When asked by a producer what he would feel comfortable talking about, Bell said, "Why don’t you do this, why don’t you think of the worst stuff that someone can do to somebody as a sexual assault and that’ll answer your question. I don’t know how else to put it. It was not a one-time thing."

Peck was arrested in August 2003, and court documents in the documentary show excerpts that mention lewd or lascivious acts with a child, sodomy, forcible penetration, using a foreign object, employment of minor for pornography, and oral copulation with a minor.

Drake Bell wears a green jacket and yellow under shirt with a blue striped collar on the red carpet

Drake Bell accused Brian Peck of sexually abusing him prior to starring on "Drake & Josh." (Michael Tran)

During the docuseries, Nickelodeon provided a statement included at the end of each episode regarding the allegations.

"In response to producers’ questions, Nickelodeon has stated it ‘investigates all formal complaints as part of our commitment to fostering a safe and professional workplace…[W]e 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,'" their comment reads.


Nickelodeon issued a statement to Fox News Digital regarding the alleged behaviors on past production sets. 

Drake Bell in 2006

Drake Bell said the "abuse was extensive" by Brian Peck. (G. Gershoff/WireImage)

"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," the statement said. "Our highest priorities are the well-being and best interests not just of our employees, casts and crews, 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 fifth episode of "Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV" premieres Sunday on ID.

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