Who Defended Brian Peck? Character Letters Released

Convicted child molester Brian Peck served 16 months in prison after pleading no contest to performing a lewd act with a victim around 14 or 15 years old and to oral copulation with a child under 16 years old in May 2004. At the time, however, many of his famous friends came to his defense, writing character letters in support.

Who Defended Brian Peck?

Ahead of the premiere of ID’s docuseries Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, famous Hollywood stars’ names began circulating as those who wrote character letters during Peck’s 2004 trial. Hairspray star James Marsden, the late Alan Thicke, Saturday Night Live alum Taran Killam, as well as Boy Meets World stars Will Friedle and Rider Strong, were among those named. 

However, Friedle and Strong addressed their involvement in a February 2024 episode of their “Pod Meets World” podcast. 

“Back then, you couldn’t Google to find out what people were being charged with,” Strong said, expressing his regret. “In retrospect, he was making a plea deal and admitting one thing — which is all he admitted to us — but it looks like he was being charged with a series of crimes, which we did not know.”

According to Friedle, Peck turned them “against the victim” – later revealed to be Drake Bell

“So you sidle up to the guy who now you look back on as an adult and you go, ‘He’s horrible,’” Friedle said. “And my instinct initially was, ‘Well, my friend can’t be [this person], this can’t be. So it’s got to be the other person’s fault,’ has to be the story. Of course, it makes complete sense. The way that he’s saying it and ‘You’re damn right, it’s that kid’s fault. How dare he?’ And I look back at that now as an adult, and it makes me want to cry that I ever was that naive.”

Quiet on Set directors Mary Robertson and Emma Schwartz found it “interesting” that Strong and Friedle rescinded their statements on the podcast “after the trailer was announced” because the women had initially reached out to both of the men regarding the docuseries.

“We reached out to everyone who wrote a letter of support [for Brian Peck] that we mentioned in the film — including Will and Rider. We didn’t hear back from them,” Schwartz told Us Weekly in an article published on March 15, 2024.

Growing Pains star star Joanna Kerns and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody directors Rich and Beth Correll as well as Criminal Minds actor Ron Melendez, James Marshall and Kimmy Robertson, were also identified as supporters of Peck.

What Did James Marsden Write About Brian Peck?

Days ahead of the docs March 17, 2024, premiere, Marsden’s letter – in which he discusses his 14-year friendship with Peck – was released. 

“I know Brian very well and I know how much he has suffered since August 2003. Brian is a good person with a very healthy fear and respect for the law and, I assure you, what Brian has been through in the last year is the suffering of a hundred men. I don’t want to victimize Brian, nor would he ever wish that, but I do feel compelled to shed light on the fact that [he] has learned his lesson,” the 27 Dresses actor wrote, per TMZ. “I guarantee you, the earth would fall from the sky before Brian would even think about doing something like this again.”

What Did Taran Killam Write About Brian Peck?

“When I found out about Brian being arrested I was shocked. Brian is the last person I would expect to be charged of criminal activities,” Killam – who worked with Peck on The Amanda Show wrote. “My first thought was ‘this is a mistake.’ I know many of our mutual friends had similar thoughts. It is too out of character.”

Similar to Marsden, Killam claimed “this is certainly not something that would ever happen again,” adding that Peck “takes full responsibility.”

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