Drake Bell’s wife, Janet Van Schmeling, has reportedly filed for divorce.
One week after he was reported missing and then discovered safe, the former Nickelodeon star’s 28-year-old wife of five years is believed to have demanded a divorce from the 36-year-old actor.
Von Schmeling stated ‘irreconcilable differences’ in a dissolution of marriage petition filed at Los Angeles County’s Superior Court, according to TMZ and People.
According to the papers filed on Thursday, she is also seeking legal and physical custody of their infant son Jeremy, but she is open to Drake Bell obtaining visitation.
The pair is alleged to have been separated since September 2022.
A spokeswoman later told us: ‘At this time, we can confirm law enforcement officers are in contact and Mr. Drake Bell is safe.’
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office stated that the actor – whose first TV appearance was aged five on Home Improvement – had been found in their jurisdiction ‘unharmed’ at around 11.30 am, and officers had taken steps to ensure he had a ‘mental health evaluation’.
He later addressed the subject in a playful social media message, claiming that he was safe but unavailable.
With a crying laughing emoji, he tweeted: ‘You leave your phone in the car and don’t answer for the night and this?’
Drake Bell was last seen just before 9 p.m. last Wednesday at Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, Florida, one day after spending the day with his young kid and estranged wife at SeaWorld Orlando.
The police statement on Facebook read: ‘MISSING Officers are looking for Jared Bell, DOB 06/27/1986.
‘He should be travelling in a 2022 grey BMW and his last known location is potentially the area of Mainland High School on 4/12/2023 just before 9p.m. He is considered missing and endangered.’
Drake Bell made headlines in 2021 after pleading guilty to attempted child endangerment and a misdemeanor charge of transmitting dangerous material to minors.
He was sentenced to two years probation and 200 hours of community service, and he was also barred from contacting the victim, who accused him of grooming her from the age of 12 and s*xually abusing her when she was 15 years old.
Taking to Instagram in September of that year to address the allegations, he said in a video: ‘I know that this has moved very quickly for you, but for me, it’s been a three-year thorough investigation into every false claim that has been made, and it’s not me telling you that the claims are false, but the state of Ohio has proven the claims to be false.
‘If these claims were remotely true, my situation would be very different, and I would not be here at home with my wife and my son. But that being said, I’m not perfect, and I made mistakes.
‘I responded to a fan whose age I didn’t know … yet when I became aware of their age, all conversation and communication stopped. And this individual continued to come to shows and pay for meet and greets, all while I was unaware that this was the same person that I was communicating with online.
‘And, uh, and that’s what I pled guilty to. You know, I … it was reckless and irresponsible text messages.’