Drake Bell Reveals The Important Reason Why He Came Forward And Opened Up About Sexual Abuse

Drake Bell, the former Nickelodeon star, recently opened up about his experience as a victim of child abuse, revealing that a significant part of his motivation was to set an example for his son. In an exclusive interview with Today, Bell, 37, discussed the impact his role as a father had on his decision to speak out.

During the interview with NBC News’ Katie Snow, Bell was asked if his son influenced his choice to come forward while participating in Investigation Discovery’s series “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV.” Bell responded, “Yeah, and as he grows, my hope is that he’ll be able to say, ‘My dad did go through that. And the man that I know today is a hero to me.'”

Bell emphasized that his decision wasn’t solely about seeking his son’s pride but rather about being truthful with him. “I don’t think so much that I wanted my son to be proud of me, but not wanting someone else to have to tell him about his father,” Bell explained. “I could’ve either allowed this to destroy me or make me stronger for him.”

Bell continued, “As he grows, he’s going to hear things, and people are going to have opinions. But my hope is that he’ll be able to say, ‘Yeah, my dad did go through that. Yeah, that did happen to my dad. Yeah, my dad did do that.’ But the man I’ve known my whole life and the man that I know today is a hero to me. And the fact that he’s been able to get through these things has helped me be able to face the world and not let it tear me down.”

In March, Bell publicly identified himself as a survivor of sexual abuse. He recounted the abuse he endured at the hands of the network’s dialogue coach, Brian Peck, which occurred over six months when Bell was 15. Despite the public scrutiny that followed his admission, Bell found solace in sharing his story. “The more that I’m able to talk about it, and the more that I’m able to articulate my thoughts just for myself, in my own mind, there is a big weight that feels has been lifted and is freeing,” he said.

Bell, known for his role in “Drake and Josh,” reflected on his journey to overcome his trauma. He considered two paths: succumbing to the pain or fighting for his family, relationships, and peace. “I could go down this path and that’d be the end of my story or stand back up and fight for what is important to you and your life: to fight for your family, to fight for your relationships, to fight for yourself, and to finally be at peace.”

Brian Peck pleaded no contest in 2004 to charges related to Bell’s case and spent 16 months in prison. Peck is now a registered sex offender.

In July 2021, Bell revealed he was married and a father, just days after pleading guilty to charges related to inappropriate communications with a minor. He wrote in Spanish on X (formerly known as Twitter), “In response to various rumors that are incorrect, I have been married for almost 3 years, and we are blessed to be the parents of a wonderful son. Thank you very much to all my fans around the world for your good wishes.”

How do you feel about Drake Bell’s decision to speak out about his past abuse, especially in light of his role as a father?