Drake Bell Details "Extensive And Brutal" Sexual Assault By Nickelodeon Acting Coach Brian Peck, When He Was Just 15

    “I was sleeping on the couch where I usually sleep, and I woke up to him..."

    Content warning: This post contains detailed discussions of child sexual assault.

    Drake & Josh star Drake Bell is speaking out publicly for the first time about being sexually assaulted when he was 15 by former actor and dialogue coach Brian Peck.

    Drake Bell in a varsity jacket and polo shirt posing for photographers at a red carpet event

    In 2004, Brian was sentenced to 16 months in prison after pleading "no contest" to a lewd act against a child and oral copulation with an unnamed Nickelodeon child actor. The offenses are said to have taken place when Brian was 43, working as a dialogue coach for a 15-year-old actor, and teaching him at his home.

    Closeup of Brian Peck signing autographs

    Brian was initially charged with 11 counts, according to court documents. Those counts included lewd act upon a child, sodomy of a person under 16, attempted sodomy of a person under 16, sexual penetration by a foreign object, four counts of oral copulation of a person under 16, oral copulation by anesthesia or controlled substance, sending harmful matter, and using a minor for sex acts.

    Closeup of Brian Peck pointing to a toy figurine that he's holding in his other hand

    Drake came forward as the minor mentioned in the sexual assault case. The announcement came when it was revealed that Drake would be making an appearance in the upcoming Investigation Discovery four-part series Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV.

    Closeup of Drake Bell sitting in a chair in a scene from Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV

    Drake began acting when he was 5 years old, amid his parents' divorce, with small roles on TV shows like Home Improvement and movies like Jerry Maguire. His big break came at the age of 12, when he landed a starring role on Nickelodeon's The Amanda Show in 1999.

    A young Drake Bell at an event

    Drake met Brian the following year, on the first day of the show's second season. Drake soon began taking acting lessons with Brian that would often take place at Brian's house. Drake's father, Joe Bell, expressed concern about Brian being around his son so much. At one point, Joe said when he mentioned his concern on another occasion, he was "ostracized" on set.

    The cast of "The Amanda Show" smiling for a promo shot

    Brian later became Drake's official manager, which ultimately created a rift between Drake and his dad. Brian would accompany Drake on auditions in LA which were an hour from where he lived with his mom. Due to the distance, Drake would sometimes sleep at Brian's house. Then one night changed everything.

    Closeup of Drake Bell on the red carpet wearing a denim jacket and a sweater with a Mickey Mouse motif

    “I was sleeping on the couch where I usually sleep, and I woke up to him...," Drake said in an exclusive from the documentary, according to People. "I opened my eyes, and I woke up and he was…he was sexually assaulting me. And I froze and was in complete shock and had no idea what to do or how to react.”

    Closeup of a younger Drake Bell outside at night

    “You know anytime I had 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, and I was just trapped. I had no way out. The abuse was extensive, and it got pretty brutal."

    Closeup of a younger Drake Bell at an event

    Drake said the abuse happened on more than one occasion and that he's never forgotten what happened. Drake's parents reported Brian to the police, and he was eventually arrested, but Drake's identity was never revealed until now.

    In the forthcoming docuseries, which explores the dangerous culture behind some of the biggest kid shows in the '90s and early '00s, a majority of which were created by Nickelodeon producer Dan Schneider, Drake stated Dan was unaware that he was Brian's victim until he confided in him.

    Dan Schneider stands with his arm around Drake Bell as they smile for a photo at an event

    Because of the abuse he endured, Drake said he began to drink heavily and use drugs. In 2021, Drake was charged with attempted endangering of children and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. Despite initially pleading not guilty, he later pled guilty to both charges.

    Drake Bell in a velvet suit with patterned tie, posing at an event

    In a statement to BuzzFeed, Nickelodeon said, "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 also released a statement regarding alleged behavior on past production sets:

    “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.”

    Drake's story is one of many stories included in ID's Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, which features interviews from former cast members, writers, and crew members. The series will air across two nights on March 17 and March 18 at 9 p.m EST on ID.

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    Investigation Discovery

    If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), which routes the caller to their nearest sexual assault service provider. You can also search for your local center here.

    If you are concerned that a child is experiencing or may be in danger of abuse, you can call or text the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453 (4.A.CHILD); service can be provided in over 140 languages.