Former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell is speaking out about his child endangerment charges two months after he was sentenced to two years of probation following his guilty plea.
The actor, best known for his role on the Nickelodeon series “Drake & Josh,” posted a video to Instagram on Friday, stating that he owes his fans and followers “an explanation.”
He started off by saying that “most” of the news going around about him “is entirely false and wrong.”
Bell continued to say that despite the rumors, he hasn’t changed his last name and that he didn’t move to Mexico or become a citizen of the country. He then went on to speak about his case.
“I know that this has moved very quickly for you, but for me, it’s been a three-year, through investigation into every false claim that has been made,” Bell said. “And, it’s not me telling you that the claims are false, but the state of Ohio has proven the claims to be false. If these claims were remotely true, my situation would be very different. I would not be here at home with my wife and with my son. But that being said, I am not perfect, and I make mistakes.”
Bell also called his behavior “reckless and irresponsible,” and that he responded to a fan without knowing their age, but upon learning that she was a minor, he says that he stopped all communication.
“This individual continued to come to shows and pay for meet and greets, all while I was unaware that this was the same person I was communicating with online, and that’s what I plead guilty to,” he said. “It was reckless and irresponsible text messages. I want to make clear there were no sexual images, nothing physical between me and this individual. I was not charged with anything physical. I was not charged with the disseminating of photographs or images or anything like that. This is strictly over text messages.”
“When I was presented with a plea deal because of the messages, I felt that it was the best way to get this over quickly and for everybody involved to be able to move on and for me to get back to doing what I love,” he continued.
Bell concluded by thanking his fans for their support.
“I want to say thank you to everyone who saw through the lies and did their research and looked at my case and saw for what it was, instead of through all this media confusion,” he said. “Don’t believe the media right off the bat. It’s a lot of clickbait. Do your own research and come to conclusions.”
In July, Bell was sentenced to two years’ probation on child endangerment charges and 200 hours of community service and made to register as a sex offender for his inappropriate conduct with the young fan, as he began contact with her online when she was 12, who later attended his concert in Dec. 2017, according to NBC News. During the hearing, the young woman called Bell “a pedophile.”
Watch the full video here or below.