Advertisement

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

The letter surfaced in the upcoming docuseries 'Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV'

<p>Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty; Albert L. Ortega/Getty</p> James Marsden, left, and Brian Peck

Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty; Albert L. Ortega/Getty

James Marsden, left, and Brian Peck

A new docuseries reveals that James Marsden and several other actors wrote letters of support for Brian Peck when the disgraced former dialogue coach was set to be sentenced for sexually abusing Drake Bell.

Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV premieres on ID on March 17. The series uncovers some of the toxic culture of children’s television shows that young actors endured in the 1990s and 2000s, including many shows produced by Dan Schneider.

Bell is featured prominently in the show and reveals that when he was a teenager, he was repeatedly sexually abused by Peck, a dialogue coach who became Bell’s manager.

In 2004, Peck pleaded no contest to charges of oral copulation with a minor under 16 and performing a lewd act with a 14- or 15-year-old. He would eventually serve 16 months in prison and was mandated to register as a sex offender. 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.

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

It’s not clear how much about the charges those who spoke out in support of Peck knew at the time.

In his letter of support of Peck, Marsden wrote, “I assure you what Brian has been through in the last year is the suffering of 100 men,” adding that he has known Peck since he was a teenager. A representative for Marsden did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.

<p>Mindy Small/Getty </p> Will Friedle

Mindy Small/Getty

Will Friedle

Peck, who appeared on two episodes of Boy Meets World, also received letters of support from two of the show’s stars, Will Friedle and Rider Strong. Though they did not immediately respond to requests for comment from PEOPLE, Friedle and Strong addressed the letters as well as their appearances at the sentencing hearing on their podcast, Pod Meets World

For more about the alleged toxic environment on the sets of Nickelodeon’s shows, subscribe now to PEOPLE, or pick up this week's issue, on newsstands Friday.

Friedle, who played Eric on Boy Meets World, said at the time that Peck had “ingratiated himself” in his life and that he had turned them “against the victim” by misrepresenting the charges.

“So you sidle up to the guy who now you look back on as an adult and you go, 'He's horrible,'” Friedle said. “And my instinct initially was, 'Well, my friend can't be [this person], this can't be. So it's got to be the other person's fault,' has to be the story. Of course, it makes complete sense. The way that he's saying it and 'You're damn right, it's that kid's fault. How dare he?' And I look back at that now as an adult, and it makes me want to cry that I ever was that naive.”

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

Friedle also said that looking back, he now believes that he was sitting in the courtroom “on the wrong side of everything.”

Strong, who starred as Shawn Hunter, expressed similar regret.

“Back then, you couldn't Google to find out what people were being charged with,” Strong said “In retrospect, he was making a plea deal and admitting one thing — which is all he admitted to us — but it looks like he was being charged with a series of crimes, which we did not know.”

<p>David Becker/Getty Images for iHeartRadio</p> Rider Strong

David Becker/Getty Images for iHeartRadio

Rider Strong

Other actors who the docuseries says wrote letters in support of Peck include Alan Thicke — who died in 2016 — SNL alum Taran Killam, Growing Pains star Joanna Kerns and Twin Peaks actress Kimmy Robertson. X-Men producer Tom DeSanto was also named in Quiet on Set as having written a letter. Killam, Robertson and DeSanto could not immediately be reached for comment.

In her letter of support, according to the documentary, Robertson wrote, “I believe with all my heart that Brian was pressured and pushed beyond belief before he caved.”

Killam wrote, “I’ve seen the effects this situation has had on Brian and I know for a fact that he regrets any mistakes made.”

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.”

The series also notes that neither Schneider nor any top Nickelodeon executives wrote letters in support of Peck.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

Bell also recounts seeing many recognizable faces in the courtroom during Peck’s sentencing, saying he was “‘pretty shocked” to see his former dialogue coach’s side of room full.

“I addressed my statement to everyone in the room,” Bell recounts in the docuseries. “I look at all of them and I just said, ‘How dare you?’ And I said, ‘You will forever have the memory of sitting in this courtroom and defending this person. And I will forever have the memory of the person you are defending violating me and doing unspeakable acts and crimes.’ And that’s what I will remember.”

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

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.