Former Star of ‘Zoey 101’ Says His Agent Sexually Assaulted Him

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Getty
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Getty

Actor Matthew Underwood, one of the stars of Nickelodeon’s Zoey 101, said in a statement on Friday that he was sexually assaulted by his agent when he was 19 years old. Underwood, who began acting on Zoey at the age of 15, also wrote that he was the victim of additional childhood sexual abuse.

“I know many folks want me to respond to the Quiet On Set documentary. I’m going to share something with you that I never thought I’d have to talk about publicly, as it’s honestly none of your business anyway,” Underwood, now 33, wrote on Instagram on Friday.

“When I was 12 years old, I was groomed and molested by my best friends’ stepfather,” he continued. “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. 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,” Underwood said. “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.”

The Daily Beast reached out to Underwood’s rep for comment.

ID’s Quiet on Set documentary series details brutal allegations of abuse, sexism and racial discrimination at Nickelodeon, the TV network beloved by 1990s and 2000s kids. Since its mid-March release, multiple Nickelodeon alums have spoken out to validate the series.

Drake Bell, the former star of Drake and Josh, made the most explosive allegations in Quiet on Set, stating for the first time publicly that he was repeatedly sexually abused by Brian Peck, his Nickelodeon dialogue coach. Peck was arrested in 2003 and later convicted of child molestation.

The four-part exposé also interviews many subjects who claim that Dan Schneider, a formerly celebrated show-runner who created many of Nickelodeon’s biggest hits, cultivated a hostile and baffling work environment for children that was rife with intimidation tactics and sexual innuendo.

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