Drake Bell Alleges He Was Sexually Abused by Nickelodeon Coach: Doc

Michael Tran/Getty Images
Michael Tran/Getty Images

Drake Bell was at one point in time one of Nickelodeon’s biggest stars, starring in shows like Drake & Josh and The Amanda Show. But the former child star, now 37, was allegedly being sexually abused by a notorious network employee amid his rise to fame—a revelation he is poised to share for the first time in a forthcoming docuseries.

In the four-part Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, Bell will discuss “the story of the abuse he suffered at the hands of Brian Peck, his former dialogue coach” for the first time, according to a press release shared with Variety. An accompanying teaser shows Bell taking a seat after another interviewee speculates about who Peck might have “hurt,” though the clip ends before Bell can speak.

Peck, a Nickelodeon dialogue coach, was arrested in 2003 and was convicted of child molestation the next year, pleading no contest to committing a lewd act against a child and oral copulation with a minor under 16. He spent 16 months behind bars and was forced to register as a sex offender. His victim was never publicly identified.

The press release says Bell was the victim in the case, alleging Peck “was convicted in 2004 for his crimes against Drake.”

The Amanda Show, the sketch comedy series on which Bell appeared in all 46 episodes, a record tied only by co-star Amanda Bynes, ended in 2002, prior to Peck’s arrest. The pilot episode of Drake & Josh, a spinoff series created by network heavyweight Dan Schneider, aired in January 2004, solidifying Bell’s status as a household name. It ran until 2007.

The story Bell is expected to share will come just weeks after former Boy Meets World stars Danielle Fishel, Rider Strong, and Will Friedle reflected on their history with Peck on their recap podcast Pod Meets World. The trio were joined by a family therapist for the episode, prompted after Strong and Friedle were contacted by Quiet on Set’s producers, to discuss how Peck had groomed and manipulated them.

“This guy had so ingratiated himself into my life, I took him to three shows after Boy Meets World,” Friedle said. “The person he presented was this great, funny guy who was really good at his job, and you wanted to hang out with. I saw him every day, hung out with him every day, talked to him every day.” Strong shared similar memories of hanging out with Peck “all the time.”

Both Strong and Friedle stood by Peck after his arrest, writing supportive character letters to a judge and appearing at his sentencing hearing. “There’s an actual victim here, and [Peck] turned us against the victim to where now we’re on his team,” Friedle said.

Bell’s post-Nickelodeon life has been troubled, pockmarked with arrests and allegations of substance abuse. In 2021, he was arrested on charges of child endangerment, accused of sending a teenage girl sexually explicit text messages several years prior, when he was 31. Bell accepted a plea deal that saw him sentenced to two years of probation, without the requirement to register as a sex offender. At his sentencing, his victim accused Bell of grooming and assaulting her.

“The pain that the defendant has caused me is indescribable and it worsens every day,” she said. “Being used by somebody who meant the world to me has left me feeling more hurt than I’ve ever been before. I am now 19. My life hasn’t been the same since I was 15. I think about these crimes every single day.”

Bell apologized for his conduct in his own statement at the hearing. “I’m sorry that the victim was harmed in any way, but that was obviously not my intention. I have taken this matter very, very seriously,” he said. “And again, I just want to apologize to her and anyone else who may have been affected by my actions.”

Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV will air on Investigation Discovery on March 17 and 18. The series is expected to delve into the toxic work environments and alleged abuse that was allowed to proliferate on the sets of Schneider’s shows—not just Drake & Josh and The Amanda Show, but also Zoey 101, iCarly, Victorious, Sam & Cat, and more.

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