Drake Bell alleges he was sexually abused by Nickelodeon dialogue coach

Former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell is speaking out for the first time about the alleged sexual abuse he says he suffered at the age of 15.

In the forthcoming Investigation Discovery series Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, Bell alleges that he was a victim of abuse at the hands of actor Brian Peck.

Peck worked as a dialogue coach on Nickelodeon’s All That and The Amanda Show. Bell starred in the latter show from 1999 to 2002 before going on to take the lead role in his own Nickelodeon series in 2004, Drake & Josh.

In August 2003, Peck was arrested on more than a dozen charges related to sexual abuse allegations involving an unnamed minor.

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. Peck was sentenced to 16 months in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender in October 2004.

A trailer teasing Bell’s appearance in Quiet on Set has been released online, while a press release from Investigation Discovery states: “The clip reveals that former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell will be sharing publicly, for the first time, the story of the abuse he suffered at the hands of Brian Peck, his former dialogue coach who was convicted in 2004 for his crimes against Drake and ordered to register as a sex offender.”

Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV is a four-part docuseries investigating the toxic work conditions at children’s shows in the 1990s and early 2000s. It airs on 17 and 18 March.

Drake Bell in Los Angeles in 2018 (2018 Invision)
Drake Bell in Los Angeles in 2018 (2018 Invision)

Last year, Bell announced that he found out that his wife, Janet Von Schmeling, had filed for divorce by reading about it online.

The news of Bell’s divorce came one week after the Florida Police briefly reported that he was missing. On 13 April 2023, the Daytona Beach Police Department posted an alert on their Facebook in which they said Bell was “considered missing and endangered”.

Hours after the post was shared, the police confirmed they were in contact with Bell and that he was safe.

Bell had at that point recently completed a two-year probation sentence, after he pled guilty to child endangerment in June 2021. Allegations against Bell were made by a then-19-year-old woman, who first reported the actor to police in 2018 and accused him of grooming her since she was 12.

Bell’s lawyers disputed claims of pictures being exchanged and sexual abuse, claiming that there was no evidence. When delivering Bell’s sentence, Ohio judge Timothy McCormick said that his “celebrity status let [him] nurture this relationship” with someone who was a child.

After accepting the plea and saying that his “conduct was wrong”, Bell apologised to the woman. “I’m sorry that the victim was harmed in any way, but that was obviously not my intention,” he said. “I have taken this matter very, very seriously. And again, I just want to apologise to her and anyone else who may have been affected by my actions.”