Drake Bell Says Son Influenced Decision to Share Abuse Story in QUIET ON SET

Photo from Drake Bell’s Instagram

Drake Bell Says Son Influenced Decision to Share Abuse Story in QUIET ON SET

By Movieguide® Contributor

Former child star Drake Bell says his son played a part in his decision to go public as a victim of child sexual abuse. 

When asked if his son Jeremy was a factor in the choice to appear in the recent QUIET ON SET docuseries and tell his story, Bell replied, “Yeah. 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.’”

“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 continued. “I could’ve either allowed this to destroy me or make me stronger for him.”

He 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.’”

Bell also discussed the abuse he faced at the hands of Brian Peck, an acting coach employed by Nickelodeon. 

“The things that were happening to me were so — it’s a big word — but gruesome,” he said. “Not only is it really difficult to speak about and to put into words, but I’m also not really in an environment where I think [the documentary producers] would want to put that on national television. It’s too graphic.”

Bell addressed the level of public scrutiny he’s under now that he has come forward with his story, saying it feels like “nothing compared to how I have felt in the past.”

“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 concluded. 

Movieguide® previously reported on Bell’s story:

The horrors of child acting were recently revealed through the five-part documentary QUIET ON SET, and while the child actors in the expose lament the abuses they suffered, they don’t blame their parents for not protecting them.

“We hear a lot ‘Where were their parents? If I was there—where were their parents?’ And you have to understand—we’re kids. Some of these were our first jobs. Some of these were our parents’ first time on a set, and they’re just learning along with us,” Drake Bell said.

“To say ‘Oh it’s the parents’ responsibility’—they’re just learning along with us and don’t have the experience on these movie sets to be able to push and pull their weight,” he added.

The documentary showed how these child actors suffered emotional abuse and trauma, along with incidents of physical abuse. Rather than blame their inexperienced parents for not protecting them, the actors believe it was a failing of the system not to have trained experts on set to step in when things got uncomfortable.

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