April 16, 2024

Matthew Underwood, star of Nickelodeon‘s Zoey 101, is sharing he was sexually harassed and assaulted by his former agent.

In a post shared on social media, the former actor revealed that the experience with the agent is what made him quit acting.

“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,” Underwood wrote in a statement shared on Instagram. “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.”

Underwood shed light on this situation after Investigation Discovery’s Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, which features allegations against Dan Schneider, the creator of Zoey 101. The former actor claims that he shared this story after being called out for being a “pedophile defender” and defended his fellow co-stars for staying silent about the docuseries.

“Lately, many people have been blowing up my email telling they hope me and my mom die and that we burn in hell, I’m being called a pedophile defender and all that jazz,” he wrote. “I have spent many years rebuilding my self-image and those hateful words have little effect on me today.”

He continued, “I imagine many 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 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 played Logan Reese in the Nickelodeon series through the four seasons of the sitcom with co-stars Jamie Lynn Spears, Erin Sanders, Sean Flynn, and Christopher Messey, among others. He reprised his role of Logan in the 2023 sequel film Zoey 102.

“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,” Underwood added. “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. I have no expectation to work with him again, this is just me wanting good for anyone who wants to be better.”

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