• Drake Bell is fighting a rough battle
  • His exposure of abuse at Nickelodeon is front and center
  • Drake's son has been his inspiration

Amidst the shadows of his past, Bell's resilience shines as a testament to strength and fatherhood. In an emotional interview with 'Today', Drake Bell, the former face of Nickelodeon's 'Drake and Josh,' opened up about the darkest chapter of his life with a singular, noble purpose: to be a hero for his son.

Bell's candidness about his past abuse and his determination to rise above it for his son's sake is nothing short of inspiring.

The Dark Side of Stardom

Bell's journey into the heart of darkness began at 15, under the guise of mentorship from a network dialogue coach, Brian Peck. The abuse, which lasted six months, could have been a story with a tragic end.

However, Bell chose to fight, to stand up not just for himself but for his family, and most importantly, for his son.

Despite the turmoil and public scrutiny following his admission, Bell found strength in vulnerability. "The more that I'm able to talk about it... there is a big weight that feels has been lifted and is freeing," he shared.

"I had just been going through so much and things were spiraling out of control personally and mentally. And I finally found myself saying, "There's two roads you can take here." I'd just had a son,' the 37-year-old former child star recalled.

"And what's the story that he's going to get? Or is somebody else going to tell him my story, or am I going to be around to tell him and share my story? So I knew something had to change."

"I don't think so much that I wanted my son to be proud of me, but not wanting someone else to have to tell him about his father. I could've either allowed this to destroy me or make me stronger for him."

This liberation from his past trauma is a powerful message to his son, Jeremy, about facing the world with courage and integrity. Bell's narrative took a controversial turn in 2021, with a guilty plea to charges unrelated to his past abuse.

Yet, he remains steadfast in his commitment to being a better man for his son. Bell and his ex-wife, Janet Von Schmeling, co-parent their 3-year-old son, showcasing Bell's unwavering dedication to his family amidst life's trials.

As Bell navigates the complexities of his past and present, his focus remains clear: to be the hero his son sees in him.

"It just resonates. These decisions are no longer for myself. The decisions that I make in my life, moving forward, are no longer for me."

"My hope is that he'll be able to say, 'Yeah, my dad did go through that. Yeah, that did happen to my dad. Yeah, my dad did do that. But the man I've known my whole life and the man that I know today is a hero to me. And the fact that he's been able to get through those things has helped me be able to face the world and not let it tear me down."

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In sharing his story, Drake Bell not only confronts his own demons but also lights a path for others in the darkness.

His journey from a child star to a hero dad is a poignant reminder of the power of resilience and the enduring strength of a father's love.