Drake Bell Reveals His 3-Year-Old Son's Role in Speaking Out About Abuse

Drake Bell opens up about his past struggles and resilience

by Zain ul Abedin
Drake Bell Reveals His 3-Year-Old Son's Role in Speaking Out About Abuse
© Gonzalo Marroquin/Getty Images

Drake Bell, the former Nickelodeon star, has opened up about his motivation to come forward as a victim of child abuse, revealing that his 3-year-old son played a significant role in his decision. In an exclusive interview with Today, Bell, 37, discussed how his role as a father influenced his participation in Investigation Discovery's series "Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV." During the interview, NBC News' Katie Snow asked Bell if his son influenced his decision to speak out.

"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 responded. He emphasized that his intention wasn't solely for his son to be proud of him, but to ensure his son hears the truth from him directly.

Bell shares his son with ex-wife Janet Von Schmeling. Reflecting on his experience, Bell said, "I could've either allowed this to destroy me or make me stronger for him." He hopes his son will recognize his resilience and draw strength from it.

Bell's Abuse Revelation

In March, Bell came forward as a survivor of s-xual abuse, detailing the abuse he endured at the hands of Nickelodeon's dialogue coach, Brian Peck, when he was 15. Despite the public scrutiny, Bell expressed that speaking out has been liberating.

"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 recalled his struggle between succumbing to despair or fighting for what matters most in his life - his family and his peace.

In 2004, Peck pleaded no contest to charges related to Bell's case and served 16 months in prison. Peck is now a registered s-x offender. In July 2021, Bell revealed his marriage and fatherhood, shortly after pleading guilty to attempted endangering children and disseminating harmful material to juveniles.

He shared on X (formerly 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."