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Drake Bell says 'I haven’t gotten an apology' from anyone who wrote letters of support for abuser

James Marsden, Taran Killam, Will Friedle, and Rider Strong are among the figures who wrote letters of support for convicted child molester Brian Peck.

Drake Bell says that none of the dozens of people who wrote letters of support for his abuser have apologized to him privately.

In a new episode of The Sarah Fraser Show podcast, the Drake & Josh star gave his first interview following the release of Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, the Investigation Discovery docuseries in which he details the sexual abuse he survived as a teenager while working for Nickelodeon. The docuseries revealed that James Marsden, Taran Killam, Boy Meets World actors Will Friedle and Rider Strong, and Growing Pains stars Joanna Kerns and the late Alan Thicke were among 41 people who wrote letters vouching for Nickelodeon dialogue coach Brian Peck when he was awaiting sentencing for abusing a teenage Bell in the early 2000s.

“I haven’t gotten an apology, or a sorry, from anybody that had written letters, or was involved in supporting him at all,” Bell said in the interview. The actor said that he wasn’t aware that the letters of support existed until Quiet on Set petitioned to have the court documents from the case unsealed. “I learned that later, I mean, there were multiple people that had supported him that went on to work on Drake & Josh,” he explained.

<p>Paul Archuleta/Getty</p> Drake Bell

Paul Archuleta/Getty

Drake Bell

“And I worked with these people every day, and I thought they were my friends,” he continued. “They were people in positions of power, that they were my bosses. They were directors, they were producers. It was a situation where I thought I was surrounded by, I thought I was safe. I thought, okay, I thought I got rid of, the cancer has been carved out, we’re better now. And I had no idea that for four years, I was working alongside people who had supported him, and probably in the back of their mind were thinking of me in a certain way, and I thought they were my friends.”

Bell also said that although individuals like Strong and Friedle have publicly said that they were manipulated into writing letters through misinformation about the case, the fact that Peck admitted to sexual encounters with a minor should have been enough reason to give pause. “To sit there and say, ‘Yes, I did this, but it’s not how they’re painting it’ — I mean, I can’t imagine framing it in a way where 41 people, adults, say ‘Oh, well that totally makes sense, how you’re telling me, that makes sense,’” he said.

Bell said that he does appreciate the handful of people who have made public statements about their regrets. “Tom DeSanto, the producer from X-Men, he released an apology statement, which I really appreciate,” he explained. “This is a very, very tough thing for everyone involved, and that’s what happens when people like Brian do what they do — it creates a ripple effect. And so that was really cool of him to do.”

Kerns is the only letter writer to provide a follow-up statement used in the docuseries. It read, “I have now learned that my letter of support was based on complete misinformation. Knowing what I know now, I never would have written the letter.”

Other letter writers have not issued public statements about their support since the airing of Quiet on Set. Reps for Marsden, Killam, Kerns, Friedle, and Strong did not return Entertainment Weekly's previous requests for comment.

You can listen to Bell's full interview on The Sarah Fraser Show above.

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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