‘We Are Dismayed and Saddened’

2024-03-14 09:12:23

Nickelodeon reacted to its former Drake & Josh star, Drake Bell, alleging that he was sexually abused by convicted sex offender and former dialogue coach Brian Peck when he was a child working for the network.

“Now that Drake Bell has disclosed his identity as the plaintiff in the 2004 case, we are dismayed and saddened to learn of the trauma he has endured, and we commend and support the strength required to come forward,” Nickelodeon said in a statement, according to a report by Deadline.

As Breitbart News reported, Bell opens up about his experience working with Peck, a dialogue coach who worked on Nickelodeon’s All That and The Amanda Show, in Investigation Discovery’s upcoming docuseries, Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, set to air on March 17 and 18.

In the docuseries, Bell reportedly recalls “sleeping on the couch where I would usually sleep,” and then waking up to Peck “sexually assaulting me.”

“I froze and was in complete shock and had no idea what to do or how to react, and I have no idea how to get out of this situation,” Bell said of his experience with the Nickelodeon dialogue coach when he was just 15 years old.

The former child actor reportedly added that it “became this secret,” as he was concerned that questions would be raised if he stopped going to Peck’s home. Bell added that Peck was “so apologetic” and had promised that it would never happen again.

“He figured out how to convince my mom and everyone around to, anytime I would have an audition or anytime I needed to work on dialogue or anything, I somehow ended up back at Brian’s house and it just got worse and worse and worse and worse,” Bell said.

“I was just trapped. I had no way out,” he added. “The abuse was extensive and it got pretty brutal. I don’t know how to elaborate on that on camera, really — why don’t you think of the worst stuff that someone could do to somebody as a sexual assault, and then I’ll answer your question. I don’t know how else to put it.”

Nickelodeon released a second statement, saying “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.”

“Our highest priorities are the well-being and best interests not just of our employees, casts and crew, 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 network added.

Peck was arrested in 2003 on 11 charges involving child sexual abuse. In May 2004, he pleaded no contest to performing a lewd act with an anonymous 14 or 15 year old, as well as to oral copulation with a minor under 16.

The former dialogue coach was then convicted of sexually abusing an unnamed Nickelodeon child actor, ordered to register as a sex offender, and was sentenced to 16 months in prison. For 20 years, it remained unclear who the unnamed Nickelodeon child actor was, until now.

Notably, ABC’s Boy Meets World stars Rider Strong and Will Friedle alleged last month that they were groomed by Peck when he guest starred on the hit series. The actors said they hadn’t realized what was happening at the time, but that everything is now clearer in hindsight.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and X/Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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‘We Are Dismayed and Saddened’


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