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‘Quiet on Set’ Recap: Drake Bell Details Being Sexually Abused by Nickelodeon’s Brian Peck

Drake Bell spoke out about being sexually assaulted by Nickelodeon’s Brian Peck for the first time in the new docuseries, Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV.

During the third part of the Investigation Discovery special, which will air on Monday, March 18, Bell, 37, identified himself as the child star who reported Peck, 63, to the authorities in the early 2000s. Peck (who has no relation to Bell’s former Nickelodeon costar Josh Peck) was arrested in August 2003 after he was accused of sexually abusing a then-unnamed child. Peck pleaded no contest to performing a lewd act with a victim around 14 or 15 years old and to oral copulation with a child under 16 years old, which resulted in a 16-month prison sentence.

“My name is Drake Bell and I came here today to tell my story,” Bell began. “I have never told my story publicly.”

Bell started acting when he was 5 years old, with his father as his manager at the time. After small appearances on shows such as Home Improvement and Seinfeld, Bell scored several commercials and appeared alongside Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire. Bell’s star began to rise when he joined The Amanda Show, Amanda Bynes’ spinoff of All That, in 1999.

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Peck, meanwhile, was a crew member who worked in front of and behind the camera on dozens of Hollywood productions. In the late 90s and early 2000s, Peck was employed on several of Dan Schneider’s projects at Nickelodeon, including The Amanda Show.

Bell, who was joined by his father, Joe Bell, in the doc, claimed he was groomed by Peck and assaulted by him when he was 15.

Drake Bell Details Being Sexually Abused by Nickelodeon s Brian Peck
Drake Bell. Rob Kim/Getty Images for Blue Jacket

“Everything changed with Brian one morning. I knew that my life was going to be absolutely completely different from that point on,” he recalled. “It just became this secret that I had held onto.”

Drake referred to the abuse as “extensive” and “brutal” during an emotional point in the docuseries. “I really don’t know how to elaborate on that on camera. … Why don’t you think of the worst stuff someone can do to somebody as a sexual assault and that will answer your question,” he said.” I don’t know how else to put it. It was not a one-time thing.”

After Peck’s arrest, Drake noted that the dialogue coach received an outpouring of support from friends in the entertainment industry, some of whom appeared at Peck’s sentencing. The docuseries went on to share unsealed letters from Peck’s then-pals, including James Marsden and Alan Thicke, that requested the judge give him probation.

As noted above, Peck served time behind bars, but that didn’t halt his career in Hollywood. According to his IMDB, Peck continued to work on many TV shows and movies until 2018. Drake, for his part, struggled with his career and alcohol and substance abuse.

“I didn’t know how to process it and I think that led to a lot of self destruction and a lot of self loathing,” Drake said. “All of these demons that I had were very difficult to work through. So I think a lot of my self destructive behavior was a temporary fix and it would always creep back up.”

Drake has since been working on bettering himself through trauma and grief therapy. In a statement to Us Weekly, Nickelodeon addressed Drake’s Quiet on Set revelations, saying, “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.”

Keep scrolling for a breakdown of his candid appearance on the Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV docuseries:

Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV airs on ID Sunday, March 17, and Monday, March 18, at 9 p.m. ET.

Becoming a Child Star

Drake Bell Details Being Sexually Abused by Nickelodeon s Brian Peck
Drake Bell. Albert L. Ortega/WireImage

Drake met Peck shortly after he was offered a main role on the Nickelodeon sketch series, which was a spinoff of All That.

“When we moved over to Nick on Sunset [set] from Paramount Studios, Brian Peck came in during the second season. Brian was a dialogue coach on The Amanda Show,” Drake shared. “He got along with everyone and everyone got along with him. He had been working in the industry for a very long time.”

Peck came as a recommendation from other parents, so Joe initially didn’t have any concerns.

“Unfortunately I started seeing that Brian was just hanging around Drake too much. It didn’t sit well with me,” Joe noted. “Drake would be in the dressing room and in would pop Brian. He would just touch Drake or do things where I [would think], ‘Wait a second. Drake can put that on himself.’ And the thing is, this is in front of people.”

Joe informed production about his worries and claimed he was “ostracized” as a result after being accused of being homophobic since Peck identifies as gay. Drake noted in the doc that he grew close to Peck because of their similar interests, explaining, “Which looking back, I think that was probably a little calculated.”

Drake added: “I didn’t think anything of anything that was happening. In hindsight, I should have been able to see but as a kid but you have no clue. But my dad saw it a mile away.”

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How Brian Integrated Himself Into Drake’s Life

Drake Bell Details Being Sexually Abused by Nickelodeon s Brian Peck
Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Peck had integrated himself “pretty heavily” into Drake’s life when Drake & Josh was being developed in the early 2000s and started to cause a rift between him and his dad.

“The situation with Brian had been building up and my dad started making it very difficult for Brian to be around me,” Drake detailed. “He started to really drive a wedge between my dad and me. He told me that my dad was stealing money and nobody likes that my dad is on set.”

Joe started crying while discussing his decision at the time to be less involved in Drake’s life.

“At that time, I said, ‘I want what my son wants. It is killing me and it is hurting me. It is breaking my heart but I want to do what Drake wants,'” Joe said through tears. “I broke down and cried. I knew that was going to sever my relationship with my son and that I wouldn’t be seeing him.”

Joe warned Drake’s mother to “never ever” leave Drake alone with Peck. However, Peck was able to convince Drake’s mother to let him drive Drake to auditions, which turned into Drake sleeping over at Brian’s house on many occasions.

“Brian would pick me up for auditions and I would end up staying the night because I lived in Orange County and it would be easier to drive me home the next day instead of getting me home at midnight. It was whatever excuse Brian came up with,” Drake recalled. “And that is the way it happened for quite a while. He had pretty much worked his way into every aspect of my life.”

The Sexual Assault

“Everything changed with Brian one morning. I knew that my life was going to be absolutely completely different from that point on,” Drake said. “I was sleeping on the couch where I would usually sleep and I woke up to him sexually assaulting me. I froze and was in complete shock. I had no idea what to do or how to react. I have no idea how to get out of the situation.”

Drake recalled Peck being “so apologetic” but continuing the abuse for months.

“It just got worse and worse and worse. I was just trapped. I had no way out,” he explained. “I remember all of the abusive events. But everything outside of that is very blurry to me which is a bummer because I experienced a lot of great things in my life and my career during all this time. But it was overshadowed and ruined by what I was dealing with on the inside. It made it really hard for me.”


Related: Sharing Their Stories: Stars Who Survived Abuse

How Others Started to Question Brian’s Intentions

Drake later turned to a girlfriend and spent time at her home because he felt “so safe” there. He said his girlfriend’s mother caught on to “what was going on” after an incident when Peck called the home non-stop to speak with Drake. When his girlfriend’s mother asked Drake about the situation before taking him to therapy, he chose not to disclose what was happening.

“I was just so scared to say anything. I didn’t know how to explain, I still don’t. I have never talked about this outside of therapy,” Drake told the cameras about Brian’s “mental manipulation” that caused him to remain silent.

When Drake Decided to Speak Out

Drake Bell Alleges He Was Sexually Abused as a Child by Nickelodeon Dialogue Coach Brian Peck 409
Investigation Discovery/YouTube

“One day, I was on the phone with my mom and I just exploded. I have no idea what provoked it but I just screamed into the phone everything that had been happening to me,” he recalled. “My mom immediately called the police. The investigation was pretty brutal. I had to be excruciatingly detailed about every single thing and time it had happened with two absolute strangers.”

According to Drake, the authorities asked for him to get a confession from Peck through a wired call.

“I called and he answered. So I said, ‘I am really struggling with this stuff now. I am so torn up and so broken and emotionally distressed. Why did this happen?'” Drake noted. “He just started a full on confession.”

Drake revealed he suffered from major hair loss while dealing with the emotional stress. After working with the police, Peck was arrested in 2003 for “doing really, really horrendous things” to Drake.

Receiving Support From Dan Schneider

Drake Bell Details Being Sexually Abused by Nickelodeon s Brian Peck
Charley Gallay/WireImage

Another major subject of the docuseries was Schneider’s time at Nickelodeon. Schneider, 58, who is the founder and copresident of production company Schneider’s Bakery, helped create, write and produce hit shows including All That, Drake & Josh, iCarly, Sam & Cat, The Amanda Show, Victorious and Zoey 101. His projects helped launch the careers of Ariana Grande, Miranda Cosgrove, Amanda Bynes, Drake, Josh, Jamie Lynn Spears and more.

After being accused of inappropriate conduct during his time at Nickelodeon, Schneider parted ways with the network in 2018. Schneider later denied the allegations against him.

Drake, for his part, said Schneider was a support system for him, adding, “After Brian was arrested, Dan called and asked me, ‘Does this have anything to do with you?’ I was close enough with Dan that [I told him]. Dan just said, ‘You don’t need to talk any more about it. That is all I needed to hear. Are you OK? Is there anything you need from me?'”

Since Drake was a minor at the time, his name was not released publicly in connection to Peck’s arrest. In response to a question about whether anyone at Nickelodeon reached out after Peck’s arrest, Drake maintained that he wasn’t sure how many people even knew he was involved in the case.

“The only person I remember being there for me is Dan,” Drake added.

The Sentencing

During the docuseries, Drake recalled how Peck’s side of the courtroom was packed with support on the day he was to be sentenced. Drake noted that there were several familiar faces, which surprised him because of the charges against Peck.

“I addressed my statement to everyone in the room,” Drake detailed. “I looked at all of them and I just said, ‘How dare you. You will forever have the memory of sitting in this courtroom and defending this person. And I will forever have the memory of the person you are defending violating me and doing unspeakable acts and crimes. And that is what I will remember.'”

(Before the docuseries was released, Boy Meets World alums Rider Strong and Will Friedle addressed their complicated past friendship with Peck. The duo used a February episode of “Pod Meets World” podcast to express regret for the public support they showed Peck, which included attending his sentencing.)

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Drake’s Own Struggles

Drake Bell Details Being Sexually Abused by Nickelodeon s Brian Peck
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

While speaking with the directors of the docuseries, Drake addressed his own multiple legal issues, which took place after the abuse.

Drake pleaded guilty after he was arrested for driving under the influence in 2015. He was also charged and pleaded guilty to two criminal counts of attempted child endangerment charges in 2021. Two years later, Drake was reported missing by the Daytona Beach Police Department but was found shortly after the news made headlines.

“There was definitely a slow decline in my mental health and sobriety. DUIs, behaviors that were happening because I was lost,” Drake explained. “I took responsibility for that. I did what was asked of me. … I went through this bankruptcy and lost my house. It was absolutely devastating.”

He continued: “I started to spin out of control. If I had continued down that path, that could very likely be the end of my story.”

Drake, who has since reconciled with his father, credited treatment for helping him cope, saying, “I was at rock bottom and so I checked into treatment. I got to go through a lot of trauma therapy, a lot of grief therapy and be surrounded by people who for the first time in a long time wanted to just see me get better.”

Us Weekly has reached out to Peck for comment.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

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