Drake & Josh’s Drake Bell Details ‘Brutal’ Sexual Abuse While at Nickelodeon, and ‘Unbelievable’ Courtroom Hearing That Followed

After years of anonymity, Drake & Josh star Drake Bell is detailing the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of convicted child sex offender Brian Peck.

Bell revealed himself to be the minor at the center of Peck’s (no relation to actor Josh Peck) 2004 conviction in the trailer for Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, an upcoming ID docuseries that will examine Nickelodeon’s sordid behind-the-scenes past while producer Dan Schneider was at the network.

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In addition to its focus on Schneider, though, the doc will address three other men — one of whom is Peck — who were allegedly “actual pedophiles on set” while working on Nickelodeon series, per Quiet on Set’s initial trailer. Peck, who appeared in episodes of various Nickelodeon shows and worked as a dialogue coach on The Amanda Show and All That, was convicted of a lewd act against a child and oral copulation of a person under 16. The Nickelodeon child star who Peck abused, whom we now know to be Bell, had not previously been named publicly.

According to Variety, Bell, who appears in Episode 3 of the four-part docuseries, details the alleged assault, much of which took place while the actor was staying at Peck’s L.A. home before auditions. Spending time at Peck’s wasn’t abnormal for Nickelodeon child stars, but everything changed for Bell during one particularly horrific stay.

“I was sleeping on the couch where I would usually sleep. I woke up to him — I opened my eyes, I woke up and he was sexually assaulting me,” said Bell, who was 15 years old at the time. “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.”

The actor didn’t know what to do, saying the assault “became this secret” because he knew it would be suspicious if he stopped going to Peck’s all together. Peck was “so apologetic,” and promised 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. 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.”

Once Peck tried to get cast on Drake & Josh, Bell “exploded” on the phone with his mom and told her everything. She called the police and that’s when the investigation began. The hearing wouldn’t take place until more than a year later in October 2004, and walking into the courtroom was “the most unbelievable thing I’ve ever seen,” Bell said. Peck’s side was full of supporters, including many famous Hollywood faces. Forty-one letters had been written to the judge by friends, family and colleagues, all of which defended Peck’s character.

Peck pleaded no contest to two charges of child sexual abuse, and was sentenced to 16 months in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender.

Nickelodeon, in a statement regarding alleged behaviors on past productions, said, “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.”

Specifically regarding Bell’s testimony, Nickelodeon said, “We are dismayed and saddened to learn of the trauma he has endured, and we commend and support the strength required to come forward.”

Bell made his Nickelodeon debut as a cast member on The Amanda Show, the sketch comedy series starring Amanda Bynes that ran from 1999 to 2002. From there, he starred on the sitcom Drake & Josh alongside Josh Peck, where they played stepbrothers with conflicting personalities. In recent years, Bell has had his own legal woes, including a 2021 arrest on charges of attempted endangering children and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. Bell later pleaded guilty to both charges.

Brian Peck, meanwhile, recently made headlines as a topic on the Boy Meets World rewatch podcast Pod Meets World, in which series stars Will Friedle and Rider Strong detailed alleged grooming and manipulation they experienced at the hands of Peck while he was a stand-in on the show.

Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV will air on ID on Sunday, March 17, and Monday, March 18, from 9 to 11 pm both nights. Watch the trailer, featuring Bell, above.

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