Drake Bell maintains his innocence in the child endangerment case and says he pleaded guilty for financial reasons

Drake Bell maintains his innocence after pleading guilty to child endangerment in 2021.

Bell appeared on an episode of the DearMedia podcast “Not Skinny But Not Fat” on Tuesday, where he discussed the fallout from disclosing the sexual abuse he suffered as a minor at the hands of Nickelodeon announcer Brian Peck on “Quiet on Set.” -documentaries, and the consequences after speaking He was accused of sexual contact and grooming an underage fan.

“I responded to some DMs and was incredibly irresponsible and got myself into conversations I shouldn’t have had and I ended up finding out that I was talking to someone I shouldn’t have been talking to and that too . “These allegations came out that weren’t true, and it just became a big deal,” Bell said of the 2021 case.

The victim claimed Bell began grooming her when she was 12, and by the time she was 15, Bell was exchanging explicit photos online and having sexual contact.

“I was under investigation and that was really difficult for my family and fortunately after 18 months of subpoenaing my social media, computers, witnesses and everything, it turned out that most of what I was accused of was not true.”

The singer and actor said he “stopped communication” when he found out her age. “I think she was upset and was still coming to concerts, and I was doing everything I could to kind of keep my distance.”

Former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell has accused Peck of behind-the-scenes abuse.Former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell has accused Peck of behind-the-scenes abuse.

Former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell has accused Peck of behind-the-scenes abuse.

“Then she made all these claims about things that happened at a concert, but throughout the entire investigation there were witnesses who were there the whole time who refuted everything, people who weren’t even associated with me and friends “That was there all along, and so, no… a lot of the things that she said about sending inappropriate pictures and things like that could be investigated and shown that none of that existed,” claimed he.

The “Drake & Josh” star admits the conversation was inappropriate, but said he only pleaded guilty “because I was just financially devastated and I had just had a son and I couldn’t put my family through all of that.” didn’t want that anymore, so I ended up going through the process the way I did.

Bell has a son with his estranged wife, Janet Von Schmeling. According to People, Schmeling filed for divorce from Bell in 2023 after they married in 2018.

Drake Bell pleaded guilty to child endangerment in 2021 after communicating with a minor.Drake Bell pleaded guilty to child endangerment in 2021 after communicating with a minor.

Drake Bell pleaded guilty to child endangerment in 2021 after communicating with a minor.

What did the victim say happened in Drake Bell’s child endangerment case?

In 2021, the victim in Bell’s case spoke at length in court about the damage the actor had done to her life, saying he began grooming her when she was 12. The messages became “obviously sexual” after she turned 15. She said his comments made her uncomfortable, but she felt trapped because she “idolized” Bell.

In July 2021, a Cleveland court sentenced him to two years probation and 200 hours of community service.

Bell spoke out about his conviction in a video posted to Instagram in September 2021, calling allegations that he sent sexually explicit photos “completely false and untrue.”

Drake Bell says he went to rehab “Quiet on Set” is about letters of support from Brian Peck

In the video, the former Nickelodeon star admitted his interactions were “reckless and irresponsible” but claimed he was “unaware” of her age and only communicated with her via text message – without any physical contact.

In “Quiet on Set,” Bell described a “slow decline” in his mental health and sobriety and said he had been “completely destroyed” by “misinformation” spread about his child endangerment case. “I was spiraling out of control,” he said. “If I had continued down this path, that could most likely be the end of my story.”

Bell also said he was devastated when he filed for bankruptcy in 2014 and lost his home.

Drake Bell spoke about being sexually abused by Brian Peck in the documentary Quiet on Set

Bell, who starred in Nickelodeon’s “The Amanda Show” from 1999 to 2002 and “Drake & Josh” from 2004 to 2007, claimed in the recent docuseries that he experienced “extensive” sexual abuse at the hands of Peck as a minor. Peck was arrested in August 2003 and convicted in 2004 of lewd acts with a child stemming from an incident in 2001. Bell had not previously identified himself as a plaintiff in this case.

“The abuse was extensive and became quite brutal. I really don’t know how to explain this on camera,” Bell said in the docuseries. “Why don’t you do this: Why don’t you imagine the worst thing that someone could do to someone as sexual assault and that will answer your question. It wasn’t a one-time thing.”

Bell said this traumatic period of his life led him to “a lot of self-destruction,” including alcohol and drug abuse.

“While it is often true that male sex offenders often have a history of sexual assault themselves, most male victims do NOT become sex offenders,” Men Healing states in its FAQ section.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, RAINN’The National Sexual Assault Hotline offers 24/7 free, confidential support to survivors and their families in English and Spanish at: 800.656.HOPE (4673) and and en Español

MenHealing provides resources and services for adult men who have experienced sexual victimization in childhood or as adults. You can find more information on their website or follow MenHealing on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Contributors: Brendan Morrow, Jenna Ryu, Edward Segarra, Charles Trepany, USA TODAY

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Drake Bell explains his guilty plea to child endangerment