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Breaking Free: Drake Bell Talks Trauma and His Truth

Audio and video podcast episode is available here, all podcast platforms and YouTube.

Trigger Warning: This episode discusses sexual abuse of a minor. 

Renowned actor and musician Drake Bell opens up about his struggles with past abuse, the complex road to accountability, and the ongoing journey towards healing. The conversation is a powerful reflection of the strength found in vulnerability and the transformative power of speaking one’s truth. 

Co-host Jamey Heath shares his own story of abuse as a child, opening the door for Drake to share more about the scars left by his abuse as a young actor on Nickelodeon, which he revealed on the MAX docuseries Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV. As he battles with the shadows of his past, co-hosts Justin Baldoni, Liz Plank and Jamey discuss the need for Drake to take accountability for his own actions, delving into hard truths and the personal resolve to mend the broken pieces. 

Topics Covered: 

  • How the abuse affected Drake’s relationship with his parents and his ex-wife
  • Confronting betrayal by those Drake admired and who were in positions of power
  • Taking accountability for his actions 
  • The struggle to trust and love again 
  • Finding hope on the other side of healing

Drake’s vulnerability provides a roadmap for navigating through trauma with honesty and accountability, illuminating a path for others in search of healing and forgiveness.

This episode was recorded on March 30, 2024. 

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual abuse, help is available. Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or go to the NO MORE Global Directory at to find support.

In This Episode

  • (00:00) Episode begins
  • (04:13) When was the last time you didn’t feel enough?
  • (08:00) Background information on Drake’s story and Jamey opens up about his assault
  • (13:00) Letters of support for Brian Peck’s during trial
  • (17:36) Rehab and decided to share his story
  • (34:23) How trauma affected Drake and things he could have done better
  • (43:59) Allegations against Drake and holding him accountable
  • (1:07:43) Men who have been abused can become abusers
  • (1:14:19) Message to fans who are attacking his accuser online
  • (1:19:57) Blurred lines in relationships
  • (1:22:55) Drake on why shouldn’t pressure people and public figures to speak out
  • (1:26:39) Creating a safe space for himself & healing
  • (1:37:20) What does it mean to you to be Man Enough?

Episode Transcript

Select Quotations from the Episode

“What happened to me doesn’t have to define who I am.” – Drake Bell

“I was crying when I watched your episode…I’m under a blanket on the plane crying because I’m feeling for you. I’m remembering mine. And it doesn’t leave. But it doesn’t have to control me anymore.” – Jamey Heath

“People who I trusted [wrote letters in support of my abuser]. People I looked up to, were in positions of power over me…some that I thought were friends, some that I went on to work with later. What details would have changed your thought process at that time to write a letter in support of somebody who had admitted to what he did?” – Drake Bell

“When you hold all of that inside, it becomes this giant ball, and affects every aspect of your life, your relationship, how you respond to work.” – Drake Bell

“Anyone who thinks that someone who’s been abused uses it to their benefit…fuck them…A child is raped and they have the courage to say something about it, regardless of what their agenda is. Let them talk about it and expose it. So we can stop it.” – Jamey Heath

“One of the byproducts of trauma that you’ve experienced (not an excuse) is boundary issues. 30% of all men who have been abused become abusers.” – Justin Baldoni

“Even in moments of weakness, you need to be able to discern and and recognize…you can’t just blame a moment of weakness for why you got in your car when you were drunk and you crashed into somebody and hurt them.” – Drake Bell

“As a woman I feel safe when men are acknowledging their mistakes, not when they are minimizing.” – Liz Plank

“People are going to do with my story what they will, but…hopefully others that have experienced the same things and say to themselves, if I see this light in this person, in this person’s being able to move through this, then maybe I don’t have to struggle and put myself through what I’ve been putting myself through.” – Drake Bell

“It’s important for people who have been through experiences like us to see… there’s moments of happiness ahead.” – Drake Bell

About Drake Bell
Drake Bell is a 37-year-old American actor and musician from Newport Beach, CA. He got his rise to fame as a child actor in the 1990s on the popular Nickelodeon shows “The Amanda Show,” which aired for three seasons starting in 1999, and “Drake & Josh,” which aired for four seasons starting in 2004. He has starred in films such as, “Yours, Mine & Ours,”(2005), “Drake & Josh Go Hollywood” (2006), “Superhero Movie” (2008), and more. Bell has over five albums released, and is best known for his songs “Found a Way,” “I Know”, and his recently released single called “I Kinda Relate.” Bell currently resides in Mexico City where he has a large fan base supporting his music.
About the Man Enough Podcast

The Man Enough Podcast explores what it means to be a man today and how rigid gender roles have affected all people. The goal is to create a safe, open environment for a range of perspectives to come together and stay at the table, moving from systems and language that polarize and demonize men and masculinity, into those that invite all humans to participate and thrive in the world. Each episode engages in honest conversations with celebrities, thought leaders and change-makers, exploring topics such as relationships, body image, privilege, fatherhood, sex, success, mental health and so much more. 


Justin Baldoni is an actor, director, producer, entrepreneur and changemaker whose efforts are focused on creating impactful media and entertainment. Baldoni is the co-founder of Wayfarer Studios, an independent financial and production engine pioneering purpose-driven, multi-platform film and television productions that elevate and speak to the human spirit. He is also the founder of Wayfarer Foundation, a non-profit which seeks to change the way communities see and respond to unhoused populations. Learn more about his debut book, Man Enough: Undefining My Masculinity at

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Liz Plank is an award-winning journalist, author of For the Love of Men: From Toxic to a More Mindful Masculinity, and the executive producer and host of several critically acclaimed digital series at Vox Media and NBC News. She’s the CEO of Liz Plank Productions and is a columnist for MSNBC and has been listed as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30, Mediaite’s Most Influential in News Media, and Marie Claire’s Most Powerful Women, and was named one of the World’s Most Influential People in Gender Policy by Apolitical. She’s built a loyal following on numerous social media platforms, but her proudest accomplishment by far remains being blocked by the 45th president of the United States.

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Jamey Heath is the CEO of Weayfarer Studios, as well as a prolific and versatile songwriter, musician and producer. He has co-written and/or produced songs for many artists, including Andy Grammer, Idina Menzel, Solange, Chaka Khan, Rahsaan Patterson, Randy Jackson, Dionne Farris, Guy Sebastian, Tamia, Tevin Campbell, Shanice, Az Yet, Yasmeen, Jody Watley, Ray J, Changing Faces, Janet Jackson, Kenny Lattimore, Babyface, Eric Benet, Take 6, and many others. He has been a part of many multi platinum selling records and singles earning him two Grammy Nominations with one win for his work on Gladys Knight’s, “At Last” album.

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