Josh Peck and Drake Bell (Image source: Instagram)
Josh Peck and Drake Bell (Image source: Instagram)

Josh Peck speaks out about former co-star Drake Bell's child endangerment sentencing

ANI | Updated: Jul 16, 2021 20:41 IST

Washington [US], July 16 (ANI): Hollywood actor Josh Peck has finally weighed in on his former 'Drake and Josh' co-star Drake Bell having been sentenced this week after pleading guilty to child endangerment charges.
Josh spoke on the subject to Variety at the Los Angeles premiere event for Disney Plus's 'Turner and Hooch' series. The outlet asked him about Drake having been sentenced to two years of probation and 200 hours of community service in Cleveland court on Monday.
Replying to this, he said, "It's upsetting, and it's an unfortunate situation. It's disappointing."
The pair starred together on the Nickelodeon comedy series, which signed off in September 2007 after four seasons.
Drake, whose full name is Jared Drake Bell, on June 23 pleaded guilty on Zoom to attempted child endangerment, a fourth-degree felony, and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, a first-degree misdemeanor.
On June 3, he was taken into custody by Cleveland police and charged with both counts, to which he had initially pleaded not guilty.

Later, while accepting the charges, Drake shared, "Today I accept this plea because my conduct was wrong. I'm sorry that the victim was harmed in any way--that was obviously not my intention. I have taken this matter very, very seriously, and again I just want to apologize to her and anyone else who may have been affected by my actions."
As per the Prosecutor's Office, an investigation showed that Drake had sent "inappropriate social media messages" in the months preceding the concert, which followed a relationship that had been established several years prior between the two individuals.
Bell has also been prohibited from contacting the victim, who is now 19. She spoke publicly for the first time during Monday's hearing to read a statement in which she called him "a monster" and accused him of grooming her from the age of 12 before allegedly sexually abusing her when she was 15.
In a July 12 statement, Drake's attorney said, "Today's plea and sentence reflect conduct for which Mr. Bell did accept responsibility. The victim's allegations that went beyond that which all parties agreed, not only lack supporting evidence but are contradicted by the facts learned through extensive investigation. As the court made clear, this plea was never about sexual misconduct or sexual relations with any person, let alone a minor."
As per Variety, in 2015, the actor was arrested for a DUI with bail set at USD 20,000. In that case, he had pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor and spent four days in jail.
'Drake and Josh', which debuted in 2004, followed the story of stepbrothers Drake Parker (Bell) and Josh Nichols (Josh Peck). The series further spawned two TV movies and was one of Nickelodeon's highest-rated programs, averaging about 3 million viewers at the time.
Bell had performed the show's opening theme song, 'I Found a Way', and has also released several albums throughout his career, including 2005's 'Telegraph', 2006's 'It's Only Time', 2014's 'Ready Steady Go!' and 2020's 'Sesiones En Casa'. (ANI)