For better or worse — at this point, worse — Josh Peck will always be connected to Drake Bell after the work they did together on screen, first on The Amanda Show and later on Drake & Josh.
But now, the two longtime co-stars are looking at a very different world after Bell’s recent prison sentencing on child endangerment charges. And surprisingly, Peck is ready to speak out about his fellow Nickelodeon alum’s deeply disturbing behavior on the wrong side of the law.
This week, Peck was walking the red carpet for the premiere of his upcoming Disney+ series Turner & Hooch — in which he takes over the role made most famous by Tom Hanks in the classic film. Even during that great career moment, he was open enough to speak about Drake’s scary and unsettling new controversy, and the results were expected.
Discussing how the actor was officially sentenced earlier this week to two years probation and 200 hours of community service, Peck said of the whole situation (below):
“It’s upsetting and it’s an unfortunate situation. It’s disappointing.”
As fans will recall, earlier this week, Bell chose to plead guilty to felony attempted child endangerment and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. The charges are misdemeanors, and as part of the plea deal, he’ll face no jail time so long as he keeps up his end of the bargain with probation and community service.
Contrite at his sentencing hearing, Bell told the court in his statement at the time:
“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.”
To be more specific than using these opaque terms like “child endangerment,” the case centered on Bell’s long-time communication with a teenage girl beginning in 2017 when she was 15 years old. Their talks led to sexual communication via text and other means, and later she was invited backstage at a show where she was said to have performed oral sex on him.
In her victim’s impact statement during Bell’s hearing, the teen said the TV star had “done irreparable harm” to her with his actions.
Such a serious, scary situation all around. Ugh.
[Image via Nicky Nelson/Apega/WENN]