[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content] Drake Bell is finally opening up after he decided to plea guilty to child endangerment charges related to his “inappropriate” interactions with a 15-year-old girl in 2017. While he knows his fans deserve “an explanation,” the singer is now claiming most of what was reported over the summer and believed to […]
The post Drake Bell Argues Against ‘False’ Narrative Following Child Endangerment Conviction: ‘I Make Mistakes’ appeared first on Perez Hilton.
[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
Drake Bell is finally opening up after he decided to plea guilty to child endangerment charges related to his “inappropriate” interactions with a 15-year-old girl in 2017. While he knows his fans deserve “an explanation,” the singer is now claiming most of what was reported over the summer and believed to be true by followers is “false and wrong.”
The Drake and Josh lead took to Instagram on Thursday with a candid video discussing the court case which saw him sentenced to two years probation and 200 hours of community service in Cleveland on July 12. Months later, he addressed some of the controversies of the crimes — starting with his name.
Related: Josh Peck Reacts To Former Co-Star Drake Bell’s Child Endangerment Sentencing!
As Perezcious readers will recall, the Nickelodeon star, born Jared Drake Bell, rebranded to Drake Campana online and for his music career. Over the summer, it was alleged that he had officially changed his name and that he was living in Mexico. But that was all wrong, the 35-year-old insisted:
“Hi, I’m Drake Bell. Not Drake Campana.”
That is, however, still his name on his IG bio. Hmm… With a cheeky smile, he then got into the more nitty-gritty aspects of the controversial story, sharing:
“Most of the news you’ve heard recently is entirely false and wrong. I feel that you deserve, and I owe you, an explanation. I didn’t change my name. Although I would love to, I’ve never moved to Mexico, I’ve never been a resident or a citizen of Mexico. I don’t have a Mexican passport. I didn’t get arrested, I didn’t go to jail.”
Bell continued to express that, while the court case was a shock to fans, he’d been dealing with the consequences of his actions for a long time in private:
“I know that this has moved very quickly for you, but for me, it’s been a three-year, thorough investigation into every false claim that has been made. 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 my son. But that being said, I am not perfect, and I make mistakes.”
According to the Found a Way vocalist, the problems arose when he responded to a fan on IG without knowing her age. Once he discovered she was just a minor, he promptly ceased communication, so he says. Unfortunately for him, this young girl allegedly did not, he detailed:
“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.”
In hopes of clearing his name even further, Janet Von Schmeling‘s husband clarified that he wasn’t charged for doing “anything physical” with the minor or for disseminating any images. The problem was that he should never have engaged in the texts in the first place.
“It was reckless and irresponsible text messages. I want to make clear there were no sexual images, nothing physical between me and this individual.”
So why did he plead guilty if there was a potential for this major confusion?? After a long investigation — and with his legal troubles hitting media headlines across the nation — he felt it was best to own up to his mistake, adding:
“When I was presented with a plea deal, because of the messages, I felt that this was the best way to get this over quickly, and for everyone involved to be able to move on. And for me to get back to doing what I love, and that is making music for you.”
On June 23, the iCarly alum pleaded guilty via Zoom to attempted child endangerment (a fourth-degree felony) and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles (a first-degree misdemeanor). Earlier in the month, he was taken into custody by Cleveland police and pleaded not guilty to those same charges.
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His remarks in court at the time of his sentencing suggested similar remorse. According to NBC News, the California native expressed:
“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.”
Even his attorney insisted the conviction had nothing to do with sexual activity, writing in a statement in mid-July:
“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.”
But it’s no wonder many were concerned by the allegations that Drake faced — for which he is still trying to put to rest. According to the Cuyahoga Prosecutor’s Office, the investigation began when a then-15-year-old girl reported a 2017 incident at a Cleveland nightclub where the performer was holding a concert. They’d allegedly been forming a relationship online for several years and authorities did find incriminating “inappropriate social media message” sent by the star online. But the plaintiff had many more serious accusations as well.
During the sentencing hearing, the now-19-year-old accused The Amanda Show actor of being a pedophile, grooming her, and sexually abusing her. She insisted his actions caused her “indescribable” pain as well. But as the comedian reiterates in the video (below), these accusations were not proven to be true by the “state of Ohio.”
Listen to his full explanation:
Thoughts, Perezcious readers? This feels a little belated — and we’re still confused about his name — but at least he’s taking some accountability for the crimes he was convicted of. Let us know what you’re thinking (below).
[Image via FayesVision/WENN]
The post Drake Bell Argues Against 'False' Narrative Following Child Endangerment Conviction: 'I Make Mistakes' appeared first on Perez Hilton.
Source: Perez Hilton https://perezhilton.com/drake-bell-child-endangerment-conviction-explanation/