Drake Bell Says He Was ‘Incredibly Irresponsible’ When Recalling Past With Underaged Girl | lovebscott.com

Drake Bell Says He Was ‘Incredibly Irresponsible’ When Recalling Past With Underaged Girl

Drake Bell has given more details about the abuse allegations regarding a teenage girl levied against him in 2021.

via: EW

The Drake & Josh actor, who recently shared the story of the sexual abuse he survived from Nickelodeon dialogue coach Brian Peck in Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, pleaded guilty in 2021 to a felony charge of attempted child endangerment and a misdemeanor charge of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, both in relation to inappropriate text messages he sent to a teenage girl in 2017. In an appearance on the Not Skinny But Not Fat podcast, Bell attempted to set the record straight about the incident.

On the podcast, Bell insisted that he’d only sent text messages. “I’d responded on some DMs and was incredibly irresponsible, and got myself into conversations that I shouldn’t have had, and I ended up finding out that I was talking to someone that I shouldn’t have been talking to, and it snowballed into these allegations that were not true, and it just turned into this big thing,” Bell explained. “I was being investigated, and that was really difficult on my family, and thankfully through 18 months of subpoenaing my social media and computers and witnesses and everything, it turned out a lot of most of what was being accused of me was not true.”

Bell went on to discuss why he pleaded guilty to the felony and misdemeanor charges. “I did have these conversations and took responsibility for that and ended up pleading guilty, because I just financially was just devastated, and I’d just had a son, and I didn’t wanna put my family through all of this anymore, so I ended up going through the process the way that I did, and you know, very regretful,” he said. “There’s just so much that I’ve had to deal with, and through that, not having the tools, not knowing how to process things, I made a lot of decisions in my life that I shouldn’t have made and hurt a lot of people.”

Later, when pressed on the details of the allegations that he’d previously denied, Bell gave more information about the situation. “I finally found out [her age], and I cut communications, and things got, I think she got upset, and she was coming to concerts still, and I was doing everything I could to kind of keep my distance,” he said. “Then she made all these allegations of things that happened at a concert, but throughout the investigation, there were witnesses who were there the whole time who refuted it, people who weren’t even connected with me that were friends of hers and her family’s that were there the whole time, and so, no, and a lot of the things that she said about sending inappropriate pictures and things like this, it was able to be investigated and show that none of that existed.”

Bell also said that The New York Times published erroneous details about his sentencing. “The New York Times just did a retraction because they had actually printed that I had to register as [a sex offender] and that I had pled guilty to [sexual assault] and things like that, which is not true,” he said. “None of that was true, and it took two years, but they finally just printed a retraction.” Indeed, the Times’ report of Bell’s sentencing now features an update at the bottom, reading: “A correction was made on March 18, 2024: An earlier version of this article misstated the punishment that Drake Bell was given in a child endangerment case. He was given probation and community service, but was not required to register as a sex offender.”

During the sentencing hearing, Bell’s victim characterized the actor as “the epitome of evil,” claiming he began grooming her when she was 12 and eventually allegedly sexually abused her at 15. “He was calculating. He preyed on me and sexually abused me,” she said, and also accused him of sending her pictures of his genitals. “He is a monster and a danger to children.”

In the same interview, Bell also expressed his gratitude toward his now-ex-wife Janet Von Schmeling for her support during their marriage. “I just owe so much to her,” he said. “I mean, we were married, we were going through so much pain, and my mind was, I was just dealing with so much darkness, and she did everything that she could to keep my life on track, to keep me working, to, honestly I really owe everything to her. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have her. I have to take responsibility for a lot of pain that I caused, but she’s such an incredible mom, and she sacrificed so much in our relationship to keep my career going, to keep the family stable, to be an incredible mom. She went through so much.”

Bell and Von Schmeling married in 2018 and share a son together. They separated in 2022, and Von Schmeling filed for divorce in 2023. “I definitely have regrets for making the wrong choices and doing things I shouldn’t have done, but hopefully working through all of this gets me to a place where we’re able to just be there for my son and keep him at the forefront of our focus,” Bell said.

In a separate incident in 2020, Bell was accused of physical and verbal abuse by an ex-girlfriend. The actor denied those allegations at the time, but did not acknowledge them in the Not Skinny but Not Fat episode or in Quiet on Set. NBC News reported that Bell’s accuser claimed to have received extensive vitriol online following the release of Quiet on Set.

Listen to the full Not Skinny but Not Fat interview with Bell above.

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