Why Leonardo DiCaprio Pops Up In Documentary About Drake Bell’s Sexual Assault by a Nickelodeon Dialogue Coach

In ID's docuseries 'Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV,' an archival clip is shown of DiCaprio and Brian Peck on the set of ABC's 'Growing Pains'

<p>Jesse Grant/Getty</p> Leonardo DiCaprio

Jesse Grant/Getty

Leonardo DiCaprio

Among the many bombshells revealed in an upcoming docuseries about the toxic and dangerous culture on the sets of iconic children’s shows of the late 1990s and early 2000s comes a surprise mention of a major star — Leonardo DiCaprio.

Investigation Discovery’s four-part docuseries Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, premiering across two nights on ID starting March 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, features multiple interviews with former child actors, most notably Drake Bell, who for the first time reveals that dialogue coach Brian Peck repeatedly molested him when he was 15.

In the series, Bell, now 37, and his father, Joe Bell, discuss their experiences working with Peck on Nickelodeon’s The Amanda Show as well as the events that led up to the sexual abuse and criminal charges against Peck.

Joe was managing his son's career in 1999 when he booked an acting job for Drake on The Amanda Show. The following year, on the first day of the show's second season, Drake and his father met Peck, a dialogue coach who befriended Drake and invited the actor to his house for acting lessons.

Joe says he was told that Peck was a skilled coach who could help Drake to book more acting gigs. People had told him that Peck had even worked with Leonardo DiCaprio, Joe says.

“He got along with everyone, everyone got along with him,” Drake says of Peck in the docuseries. “He'd been working in the industry for a very, very long time. He knew tons about the history of Hollywood and that's what I loved.”

While Joe says he was “always within eye distance” of Peck and Drake as they worked together, he started to become uncomfortable with the relationship that was developing between them.

Related: Actor Drake Bell Was Sexually Assaulted by Nickelodeon Dialogue Coach: 'It Was Extensive and Brutal'

"Unfortunately, I started seeing Brian start to just hang around Drake too much and it didn't sit well with me," Joe says. He claims that while his son was in his dressing room, Peck would touch Drake in front of others in ways that made him question Peck’s intentions.

Joe also says he frequently saw Peck wrap his arms around Drake's waist while feeding him lines, or place his hand on Drake's shoulder and "kind of run it down his arm." He compared the behavior to a video he once saw—which is also shown on Quiet on Set—of Peck with a young Leonardo DiCaprio behind the scenes on the 1980s ABC sitcom Growing Pains.

<p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty</p> Leonardo DiCaprio on 'Growing Pains' in 1991

ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

Leonardo DiCaprio on 'Growing Pains' in 1991

"Leo as you know is the latest, hottest, hunkiest teen idol there is,” Peck is heard saying in the archival clip. DiCaprio then playfully showed off his muscles for the camera.

DiCaprio was not described in the docuseries as having been connected to sexual abuse or sex crimes committed by Peck.

After some time, Joe expressed his concerns about Peck with production and said he was uncomfortable with the dialogue coach, who also appeared on screen on The Amanda Show as "Pickle Boy," being around his son. But when he mentioned the troubling relationship between Peck and his son again, he claims he was "ostracized" on set and decided to "back off.”

The father and son then cut ties, and Peck stepped in. Peck would later accompany Drake to acting auditions in Los Angeles, which were at least an hour away from where Drake lived with his mother. Due to the distance, Drake would frequently spend the night at Peck's house, but one night when he was 15 everything changed.

“I was sleeping on the couch where I usually sleep and I woke up to him... I opened my eyes and I woke up and he was…he was sexually assaulting me,” Drake says. “And I froze, and was in complete shock and had no idea what to do or how to react.”

Related: Pedophile Who Sexually Assaulted Drake Bell Flaunted Painting by Serial Killer John Wayne Gacy, New Doc Reveals (Exclusive)

In 2004, in connection with Drake's case, Peck pleaded no contest to a charge of oral copulation with a minor under 16 as well as a charge of performing a lewd act with a 14- or 15-year-old. Bell's identity as the victim was not made public at the time. Peck spent 16 months in prison and was mandated to register as a sex offender.

<p>Albert L. Ortega/Getty</p> Brian Peck

Albert L. Ortega/Getty

Brian Peck

But at his sentencing, multiple well-known actors sent letters on his behalf to the judge and some even attended his sentencing hearing, the docuseries reveals. It’s not clear how much about the charges those who spoke out in support of Peck knew at the time.

Related: James Marsden and Other Stars Wrote Letters of Support for Convicted Child Molester Brian Peck

Some of those stars included Growing Pains alums Alan Thicke — who died in 2016 — and Joanna Kerns.

In a statement featured in Quiet on Set, Kerns expressed regret over having written her letter.

“I have now learned that my letter of support was based on complete misinformation,” Kerns said. “Knowing what I know now, I would never have written the letter.”

Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, premieres across two nights on ID from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET/PT on March 17 and March 18.

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