The Biggest Red Flags In Drake Bell's Marriage

This feature discusses suicide, child abuse, and substance misuse. 

Since his days as a Nickelodeon star on the hit show, "Drake & Josh," Drake Bell has experienced various legal troubles. For instance, in 2021, he was sentenced to two years probation for child endangerment charges, after a woman accused him of having groomed her since the age of 12, per NBC News. After initially pleading not guilty, Bell agreed to a plea deal and changed his plea to guilty for the child endangerment charge, as well as to a misdemeanor charge of disseminating materials considered harmful to juveniles. Bell apologized to the young woman and told the court, "My conduct was wrong. I'm sorry that the victim was harmed in any way."

In April 2023, fans were further shocked after Drake Bell was reported missing in Florida. The Daytona Beach Police Department took to Facebook to share a message informing the public of his disappearance. "Officers are looking for Jared Bell," the post read in part. "He should be traveling in a 2022 grey BMW and his last known location is potentially the area of Mainland High School on [April 4, 2023] just before 9 pm. He is considered missing and endangered." It was later revealed that the star was found safe, but there were plenty of questions surrounding the incident that remained unanswered. 

Bell reportedly disappeared only hours after a SeaWorld visit with his young son whom he shares with his ex-wife, Janet Von Schmeling. According to tabloids, the couple had been experiencing relationship problems for years. Here are the biggest red flags in Drake Bell's marriage.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

Drake Bell kept his marriage a secret for years

Celebrities often keep their relationships under wraps to avoid media attention and unwarranted opinions. Perhaps that's why Drake Bell and Janet Von Schmeling's romance was kept under wraps for over three years. However, some might say that the husband and wife took things to the extreme because Bell's fans had no idea he was a father and a husband until he made a sudden public announcement about it in 2021. "In response to various rumors that are incorrect, I have been married for almost three years and we are blessed to be the parents of a wonderful son," he wrote in Spanish on Twitter, per a Google translation. "Thank you very much to all my fans around the world for your good wishes." 

The announcement arrived just a month after Bell had pleaded guilty to attempted endangerment of a child and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. Per Entertainment Weekly, during sentencing for those charges, the judge told the actor, "Your position and celebrity status enabled you to nurture this relationship. You were able to gain access to this child and you were able to gain the trust of the child ... I hope you truly are remorseful." As Page Six put it in their coverage of Bell's marriage and baby announcement, "Timing is, as they, everything." Sure enough, the timing of this particular Twitter post certainly was ... interesting, to say the least.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

Did the couple intimidate a YouTuber?

While the child endangerment allegations faced by Drake Bell were covered by numerous media outlets, the controversial court case was also discussed by various popular YouTubers. One such star, Sloan, was among the many who featured videos about the case on their channel. Bell and Janet Von Schmeling apparently caught wind of the videos because they allegedly reached out to the YouTuber.

In a YouTube video uploaded to their channel, Sloan shared a screenshot of a Twitter DM he claimed to have received from Bell, which read, "Would you mind if you and I had a conversation? If not would you mind hopping on a phone call?" The YouTuber subsequently agreed to talk to him. Things took a bizarre turn after the actor then allegedly reached out to the YouTuber via text message. The problem was that Sloan alleged that he'd never given the actor his number. A screenshot of Bell's purported messages appears to indicate that he also addressed the content creator by his real name, which he never publicly shared. "Hi Michael, Drake Bell here," the text read. "Let me know when you are free for a chat." Sloan expressed his belief that Bell dug up his personal information as part of an intimidation tactic. 

In a separate video, Sloan shared a screenshot of a text message allegedly from Von Schmeling that suggested Bell wasn't trying to intimidate him, but that he had some exclusive information regarding experiences he'd lived through that he wanted to share.

The actor and his wife aren't Josh Peck fans

Josh Peck starred alongside Drake Bell on their hit Nickelodeon show, "Drake & Josh," from 2004 to 2007. The stars practically grew up together, but their real-life relationship isn't exactly brotherly. During an appearance on the "BFFs with Dave Portnoy and Josh Richards" podcast, Peck revealed he hadn't spoken to his former co-star for years. Subsequently, he didn't invite his former co-star to his wedding. "The dirty little secret [was that] ... I knew that Drake and I didn't stay in touch for the 10 years since we had made the show. But no one needed to know that," he admitted. "Like, I was happy to just die with that secret that we made this thing that people really love but maybe we weren't that close."

Peck went on to claim that Bell made his feelings about the lack of invitation clear by sending him a barrage of insulting texts on the night of his wedding. He then apparently doubled down by publicly blasting the star online which purportedly resulted in fans sending hate to the actor's wife. Peck later asked his former co-star to apologize to his other half when they crossed paths at the 2017 Video Music Awards — to which he reportedly complied. However, Bell's wife, Janet Von Schmeling, took to Instagram Stories to allege that Peck's recollection of these events wasn't entirely accurate. "Josh Peck is a total piece of s***," she shared, in part. "I stay quiet until lies happen."

The couple hosted a podcast for just one episode

In 2022, Bell and Janet Von Schmeling announced they were launching a podcast together. Celebrity couple podcasts aren't uncommon, but Bell and Von Schmeling took a rather unique approach to their show — they named it "Drake & Janet" and their logo was seemingly styled after the "Drake & Josh" logo. This is a bit unexpected when you consider the fact that Bell wasn't on good terms with Josh Peck, his former "Drake & Josh" co-star, at the time. But this concept becomes even odder when you realize that Bell and Von Schmeling spent most of their first podcast episode discussing their controversy with Peck.

They alleged that Peck had written a script for a "Drake & Josh" reboot that would have been called "Josh & Drake." They decided not to move forward with the project because they didn't like how Bell's character would have been portrayed on the show. "First of all, this 'Josh & Drake' reboot, the idea could have been really great," Von Schmeling said on the podcast. "This problem ... is that Josh wrote Drake as a failed musician, and Josh wrote himself as a real estate agent. So, okay that's fine — but Drake is a musician in real life ... it wouldn't make sense." She went on to claim that Peck's concept for Bell's character was sneakily making fun of his real-life career. The husband and wife seemingly took a hiatus because this was the only actual "Drake & Janet" podcast episode to have ever transpired.

Drake Bell found out about his divorce from TMZ

Outlets reported that Janet Von Schmeling filed for divorce from Drake Bell just days after he was located after having been reported missing. Documents obtained by People revealed that she cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for the separation and requested legal and physical custody of their son. As it turns out, the couple may have already been involved in a custody battle for some time, since they had reportedly separated about three months earlier. 

According to TMZ, Bell's brother informed police of his disappearance because he had expressed suicidal thoughts amid a child custody disagreement. The outlet claimed he told police that Bell was "distraught and made suicidal statements." ET also shared the details of a 911 recording involving an Orlando Police Department officer and the Volusia County Sheriff's Department as they discussed the events that reportedly led to Bell's disappearance. The call appears to show the star had a "falling out" with his wife. They went on to label Bell as an "endangered" person due to a "possible attempted suicide."

Many likely found the events that led up to the divorce filing surprising, but things became even more shocking after Bell took to Twitter to claim that he was left blindsided by Von Schmeling's decision. "I found out my wife filed for divorce from TMZ ... check out my new song," he wrote while promoting his single, "Going Away."

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Was there another factor in their divorce?

Although Janet Von Schmeling filed for divorce from Drake Bell in 2023, their marriage had reportedly been on the rocks for quite some time. Their relationship problems may have had something to do with Bell's rumored drug use. The actor made headlines back in 2022 after he was photographed in a vehicle seemingly breathing in a substance from a balloon. His son was also allegedly in the car with him at the time.

An "eyewitness" spoke to Us Weekly about what they saw. "Drake pulled up in the driveway at his house [in Los Angeles] and started to inflate a pink balloon that was in his lap," they claimed. "He inhaled it ... [until] the balloon was deflated. He was said to have repeated the action around seven times over the course of 30 minutes. The alleged witness went on to claim that Bell eventually exited the car and brought his son inside their home. The source claimed they saw Bell repeat the action the very next day "At one point, it looked like he was about to fall asleep," they alleged. "His head started to drop and his eyes slowly closed. But eventually, he got himself together and drove off. The kid was clearly in the car." 

In January 2023, an unnamed source told People that Bell and Von Schmeling had separated while the actor sought treatment for his alleged substance misuse, claiming, "Drake needed to take time to get help and focus on his health."

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).