Drake Bell Speaks Out For First Time Since Child Endangerment Conviction
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Drake Bell has spoken out for the first time since he was convicted on child endangerment charges. Watch below:
The former TV star pleaded guilty earlier this year and was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service on 12 July.
In a video posted to his Instagram account, Bell has now offered 'an explanation' for his actions and the 'false claims' made against him.
The 35-year-old 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, through 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 actor went on to state that he had responded to one of his fans without knowing exactly how old she was.
He claimed that the conversation was ended as soon as he discovered their age.
"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," he went on.
"It was reckless and irresponsible text messages. I want to make clear there were no sexual images, nothing physical between me and this individual."
Bell continued, emphasising that nothing physical happened between him and the fan and that communication was only ever by text messages.
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."
In a statement following his conviction, Bell, who had initially pleaded not guilty to the charges before switching to guilty, said: "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."
Featured Image Credit: PA
Topics: US News, US Entertainment