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Zoey 101 Alum Reveals He Was Assaulted By Former Agent -- While Defending Nickelodeon Stars 'Staying Silent' About Quiet On Set Doc

Zoey 101 Alum Reveals He Was Assaulted By Former Agent -- While Defending Nickelodeon Stars 'Staying Silent' About Quiet On Set Doc

[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

Ever since the bombshell allegations about the behind-the-scenes experiences of kids on Nickelodeon dropped this month through the Quiet on Set documentary, several former child stars have come forward to share their horrific experiences in the business. This includes Zoey 101 alum Matthew Underwood.

The 33-year-old actor took to Instagram on Friday to reveal he had been sexually abused multiple times when he was younger. Prepare yourselves, Perezcious readers. Matthew explained that he was first “groomed and molested by my best friends’ stepfather” as a 12-year-old, adding:

“I lost the best friends I’d ever had because I couldn’t spend any time with them without feeling the personal disgust and betrayal brought on by a man I trusted as a father to me.”

Heartbreaking. Years later, at the age of 19, Matthew claimed he was sexually harassed and assaulted by his former agent, whom he does not name. Although he reported the agent and got him fired by his agency, the Zoey 102 star said the man is “still active in the industry” to this day. The experience was so horrible that Matthew decided to quit acting and leave Los Angeles entirely:

“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 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 ended my pursuit of acting.”

Related: Melissa Joan Hart Opens Up About Her Own Nickelodeon Days After Quiet On Set Doc

As for why Matthew is sharing his story now? He explained that people have been sending him death threats and calling him a “pedophile defender” after the doc, which features allegations of Zoey 101 creator Dan Schneider allegedly having inappropriate relationships with and “sexualizing” other child stars of the network. So now, Matthew wants to remind everyone that people may have their personal reasons for “staying silent” on the documentary and are not ready to speak yet:

“I have spent many years rebuilding my self-image and those hateful words have little effect on me today. But, I imagine many of my friends in the business are being equally harassed if they aren’t joining the chorus, so I’m sharing this with hope that some of you 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.”

Matthew continued:

“I have extreme empathy for anyone who has been taken advantage of by people they trusted. I hope they are all able to grow to love themselves and have great support from their family and friends in their journey of recovery. I also ask you all to take a few moments and consider why someone might not share their experiences publicly and not immediately shame them for reserving their right to privacy.”

He has a point. No one should be pressure into telling their traumatic experiences right now. As for the Dan Schneider allegations? He did take a moment to defend him, saying he did not have a “bad experience” working with him:

“I never had a bad experience working on set of a Nickelodeon show and I never had a bad experience with Dan. I have nothing to add to the conversation that anyone would care to hear. I like to believe people have the capacity to be better humans and Dan appears to recognize that he had been an asshole in his past. I like to believe he is fully capable of being a creator and coworker everyone can enjoy working with.”

Hmm. Others most likely would say otherwise. Read the entire post (below):

We applaud Matthew for coming forward with his story. Reactions, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence and would like to learn more about resources, consider checking out

If you have sincere cause to suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to

[Image via Paramount Plus/YouTube]

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Mar 30, 2024 15:14pm PDT