Drake Bell has spoken out about his “reckless and irresponsible text messages” which led to him being charged with attempted child endangerment.
The former ‘Drake & Josh’ star accepted a plea agreement for charges of attempted child endangerment and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles in June, and was sentenced to two years of probation and 200 hours of community service the following month.
And on Thursday (16.09.21), Drake took to Instagram to break his silence on the charges, as he said he owed his fans an “explanation”.
He said: “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.
“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.”
The 35-year-old actor then spoke about the text messages he had exchanged with an underage fan, as he said he stopped communicating with them when he discovered their age.
Drake referred to his messages as “reckless”, but insisted there were “no sexual images” sent between the pair, and “nothing physical” ever took place.
He added: “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. It was reckless and irresponsible text messages. I want to make clear there were no sexual images, nothing physical between me and this individual.”
The star – who initially plead not guilty to the charges – said he accepted the plea deal “because of the messages” sent between himself and the woman, now 19, and expressed his wish to “get back to doing what I love” as soon as possible.
He said: “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.”
This article originally ran on celebretainment.com.