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Drake Bell Says Grooming Allegations Were ‘Not True’ Despite Guilty Plea

Drake Bell Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Drake Bell is opening up about the grooming allegations he faced in 2021.

“I responded on some DMs and was incredibly irresponsible and got myself into conversations that I shouldn’t have had,” Bell, 37, said during the Tuesday, April 2, episode of the “Not Skinny But Not Fat” podcast. “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 was sentenced to two years of probation and 200 hours of community service in California in connection to a December 2017 incident where he was accused of grooming and sexually abusing a minor. Despite initially pleading not guilty, he ultimately pleaded guilty to child endangerment charges in 2021.

“[I] ended up pleading guilty, because financially I was just devastated, and I had just had a son and I didn’t want to put my family through all of this anymore,” he explained. “I ended up going through the process the way that I did. Very regretful.”

Drake Bell’s Ups and Downs Through the Years

Bell alleged that he wasn’t aware that the girl was 15 years old, but when he found out he claimed he “cut communication” off with her. While Bell noted that the girl attended some of his concerts, he said, “I was doing everything I could to kind of keep my distance.”

“A lot of the things she said about sending inappropriate pictures and things like this, it was able to be investigated and show that none of that existed,” he claimed.

Bell added that he “did have those conversations” with the girl, however, so he “took responsibility for that.”

“There’s just so much that I’ve had to deal with, and through that, like I said, not having the tools or 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,” he said. “But now, where I am in my life now, I think that I’m finally at a place where I can process and deal with this through therapy that I’ve been through and actively going through, unearthing all of these things and being able to face them head on for really the first time in my life.”

Bell made headlines again in March when he spoke out about facing sexual abuse by dialogue and acting coach Brian Peck during his time on Nickelodeon on the Investigation Discovery documentary, Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids.

Former Nickelodeon Stars’ Candid Quotes About Working at the Network

After it was released, Nickelodeon shared a statement: “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.”

The network added of Bell: “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.”

However, Bell wasn’t satisfied with the network’s response. “I find it pretty empty, their responses,” Bell said on “The Sarah Fraser Show” podcast in March, “because, I mean, they still show our shows, they still put our shows on. And I have to pay for my own therapy, I have to figure out what — I mean if there was anything, if there was any truth behind them actually caring, there would be something more than quotes on a page by, obviously, a legal representative telling them exactly how to tailor a response.”

 

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​Us Weekly

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