Dan Schneider Breaks Down in Tears Recalling Drake Bell, Brian Peck Assault Trial: ‘Darkest Part of My Career’ | Video

Former Nickelodeon writer and producer Dan Schneider got emotional while discussing Brian Peck’s sexual abuse of an underage Drake Bell. Recalling how he helped the “Drake & Josh” star’s mother write testimony for the 2004 trial that ultimately saw the production assistant convicted, the embattled kids’ entertainment figure broke down in tears.

“That was probably the darkest part of my career,” Schneider said in an interview posted Tuesday.

Since Investigation Discovery dropped its four-part documentary series “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of TV,” Schneider’s name and the accusations of the toxic work environment he encouraged have been everywhere.

In an effort to provide his take on the slew of allegations made against him in the series, he sat down for an interview on his YouTube page DanWarp with Bobby “BooG!e” Bowman, who played T-Bo on Nickelodeon’s “iCarly,” a show Schneider created.

When the topic of Bell came up about 14 minutes into the below video, Schneider first maintained he had nothing to do with the hiring of Peck and was distraught when he learned he’d sexually assaulted Bell.

“When Drake and I talked and he told me what had happened, I was more devastated by that than anything that ever happened in my career thus far,” Schneider said. “I told him, ‘I’m here for you. What do you need?’ which Drake mentioned in the show last night that we watched last night.”

Bell, who participated in the “Quiet On Set” docuseries, did note that Schneider was there for him after he told the Nickelodeon exec about the abuse. Schneider discussed how “devastated” Drake was when he saw the amount of people standing behind Peck during the trial.

“A lot of them pretty famous. Of course Drake was devastated that that happened, and even more disappointing,” Schneider said. “Forty-one of those people wrote letters for Peck — character letters for Peck, praising him for who he was and asking for leniency, and they knew that he was guilty, they knew that he confessed to some degree and they still did this. It’s baffling that adults would do that.”

He then went on to share that he and Bell’s mother still keep in contact and he helped pen her court speech for the trial.

“I don’t know if people know this, but Drake’s mom — lovely woman, who I stay in contact till this day — she came to me at the time and she said, ‘Dan, I’m not good with words like you are. Would you help me with my speech for the judge?’ I said, ‘Of course.’ And I did,” Schneider said, beginning to cry.

“[Peck] ended up going to prison and serving his time. And yeah, that was probably the darkest part of my career,” Schneider continued, adding that even after Peck’s crimes were revealed, Hollywood continued to hire him.

“Here’s the kicker that I really don’t get: After he got out of prison and — to my knowledge — a registered sex offender, he was hired on a Disney Channel show. I don’t understand that.”

In 2004, Peck was sentenced to 16 months in prison after he was arrested in August 2003 on 11 sexual abuse charges related to the sexual abuse of an unnamed child, which was revealed to be Bell in “Quiet on Set.” He was ordered to register as a sex offender in October 2004.

“Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” spotlights allegations of abusive and toxic behavior by longtime Nickelodeon producer and screenwriter Schneider. The series made its debut over the course of two nights on ID, first on Sunday before wrapping Monday.

Click here for more of a breakdown of what happened in the series. Watch Schneider’s full post-mortem interview in the video below.

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