Former Nickelodeon star reveals he was sexually molested as a child, blasts critics who called him a 'pedo defender'

Matthew Underwood — one of the stars of Nickelodeon’s Zoey 101 — has recently revealed that he was sexually molested as a child actor. He went on to defend his silence amid a slew of allegations against Nickelodeon’s Dan Schneider, according to the Daily Mail.

Underwood, 33, said he received a bunch of hateful messages for not speaking out after abuse claims surfaced in the Discovery docuseries “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV.” The actor played Logan Reese on Zoey 101 for four seasons.

Former child stars Drake Bell and Alexa Nikolas described in detail how they were preyed upon by staffers and accused Schneider of bullying, racism, and sexism throughout their acting careers. Despite them coming out with these revelations, Underwood said he had sufficient reason not to join them in explaining what he had experienced while on set.

Underwood said he was forced out of the acting industry by the sexual abuse he endured. He explained some of the details about his experience through an Instagram post, writing: “When I was 12 years old I was groomed and molested by my best friends’ stepfather.”

“When I was 19, I was sexually harassed and then assaulted by my agent at the time, who had spent a decent amount of time building trust with me as a friend and mentor.”

“Again, my trust was betrayed and my self image was crushed.”

“I reported him to the agency and he has since been fired — although he is still active in the industry. This experience provoked my move away from LA and ending my pursuit of acting.”

Amid the release of the 2023 rom-com Zoey 102, Underwood said that many people had been “blowing up my email,” adding that he had been labeled a “pedophile defender” by some critics for remaining silent about his experience.

“I imagine many of my friends in the business are being equally harassed if they aren’t joining in the chorus,” he said on Instagram.

“So I’m sharing this with hope that some of you can recognize that just because a person doesn’t shout from the rooftops that pedophiles are bad or that people can suck — that does not mean they don’t have their own reasons for staying silent, good reasons, personal reasons.”

Underwood did not come forward with the name of the agent who he accused of abusing him. He also noted that he would not join in on the criticism against Schneider, per E!

“I never had a bad experience working on set of a Nickelodeon show and I never had a bad experience with Dan [Schneider],” he said. “I like to believe he is fully capable of being a creator and coworker everyone can enjoy working with.”

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