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One Reason Drake Bell Opened Up About Sex Abuse in “Quiet on Set” Docuseries: ‘My Dad Puts a Lot Of Blame on Himself’

In the series, Bell detailed the sexual abuse he endured as a child actor under his former dialogue coach Brian Peck, who was convicted in 2004

<p>Presley Ann/FilmMagic</p> Drake Bell

Presley Ann/FilmMagic

Drake Bell

Drake Bell is opening up about why he felt it was the right time to tell his story in the docuseries Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV.

The actor, 37, who detailed the sexual abuse he endured as a child actor under his former dialogue coach Brian Peck in the docuseries, explained in Friday's episode of the The Sarah Fraser Show podcast that he initially didn't want to participate in the series due to a previous “bad” experience he had in the past.

“…Another documentary that came out years ago that requested my involvement, and when I declined, the response I got was unbelievable,” Bell recalled. “They said that I was — people like me were the problem, and this is why things aren’t gonna change in the industry because people like you won’t speak out and won’t come forward.”

The former Drake and Josh star said the experience left him “cautious” and “on edge” whenever he was approached to talk about the topic. He felt the same way when the Quiet on Set producers reached out, but one of the directors of the project, Emma Schwartz, eventually helped put him at ease.

Related: Drake Bell Asks Fans to 'Take It a Little Easy' on Josh Peck and Reveals He 'Reached Out' amid Abuse Allegations

“She was very sensitive, and we kind of became buddies before [the docuseries], and I could tell that she was coming from a genuine place,” Bell said on the podcast. "When we started our back and forth and it wasn’t [from] an angle of, ‘Okay, what do I have to say to get him involved’ and ‘I’ll just say what I need to say to convince him.’ I really felt a comfort with her.”

Bell said he told Schwartz he would be willing to meet with her if she came to Los Angeles to sit down with him. He did the interview, noting that he “felt really comfortable” despite telling “basically a stranger” his story. However, he still wasn’t in a place where he felt he could share it publicly.

He said he entered rehab shortly after the interview, which helped him come to terms with things he “hadn’t faced head on” or that were “too painful” from his past trauma.

Related: The Biggest Bombshells from 'Quiet on Set,' the Docuseries Alleging Toxic Culture on Nickelodeon Shows

“Once I got out, I thought to myself, 'You know, maybe this is a good time to reach out to them, and say I’m not 100% yet, let's talk some more but I’m getting closer to feeling comfortable with finally sharing my story,' ” he said on the podcast.

When it came to involving his father, Joe Bell, in the documentary, the actor said he was also “very cautious” about that.

“Even though I was battling with, ‘Oh my gosh, what am I doing telling my story? Should I be doing this?’ [But I was getting this feeling of] ‘Wow it's all out there now. I can get it off my chest.’ And I felt that would be cathartic and beneficial for my dad to be able to do,” he explained.

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“I’m sure that my dad puts a lot of blame on himself,” he continued. “And I thought that this might be an opportunity for him to be able to realize that, you know, that it’s one person’s fault.”

In 2004, Peck pleaded no contest to a charge of oral copulation with a minor under 16 and performing a lewd act with a 14- or 15-year-old in connection with Bell's case. Peck spent 16 months in prison and was required to register as a sex offender.

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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