Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice speaks out on ‘complex’ Dan Schneider relationship

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Former Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice has broken her silence on allegations made about Dan Schneider in the recent investigative documentary series Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV.

Justice was the star of the hit musical comedy series Victorious, which ran from 2010 to 2013 and featured Ariana Grande and Elizabeth Gillies in ensemble roles.

In March, a five-part Investigation Discovery documentary brought to light disturbing claims about the alleged culture on the set of shows on the children’s network.

Drake and Josh star Drake Bell alleged that he was a victim of abuse at the hands of dialogue coach Brian Peck, while Schneider, who produced some of Nickelodeon’s biggest hits, was accused of tolerating toxic workplace conditions as well as the alleged humiliation of cast and crew working on his shows.

Some contributors also accused Schneider of inappropriate sexual conduct. In response, Schneider released an apology, before then suing the documentary’s producers for defamation.

In a new interview with Marie Claire, Justice, 31, has shared her complicated feelings towards her experience working with Schneider, noting that the Victorious producer let his “ego” affect his decision-making.

“Something that was very evident in the documentary is that Dan had a very large ego, and sometimes that ego clouded his better judgment and affected the way he treated people, and there were times I felt like I was being treated unfairly,” she told the publication.

Justice went on to note that she is “not condoning any of his behaviour”, before clarifying that she had seldom been in touch with Schneider since the end of Victorious in 2013, outside of occasional birthday messages.

Victoria Justice and Dan Schneider (Getty)
Victoria Justice and Dan Schneider (Getty)

She also said that Schneider’s behaviour around her was never sexually inappropriate, as others have alleged.

The actor and singer continued: “At the end of the day, my relationship with Dan is a very complex one: I met him when I was 12 years old, and he’s the person that gave me this big break.

“He completely changed my life. Most likely, I wouldn’t be here where I am today if it weren’t for him and for him seeing something in me. For that, I will always be grateful.

“After watching his apology, I think he recognises that he did a lot of things wrong, and I think if he could step back into a time machine, he would do a lot of things differently.”

Following the release of the documentary, Schneider addressed claims about his behaviour in a 19-minute video with iCarly actor BooG!E. He noted that he owed “some people a pretty strong apology”, to which Justice replied: “I’m definitely one of the people on that list.”

Dan Schneider said it was wrong’ to ask for massages on sets of Nickelodeon shows (YouTube)
Dan Schneider said it was wrong’ to ask for massages on sets of Nickelodeon shows (YouTube)

Since the video statement, Schneider has filed a defamation lawsuit against the producers of Quiet on Set, accusing them of misleading viewers into thinking he was a child predator to increase their ratings.

Weeks after the release of the documentary, on Wednesday (15 May), All That actor Lori Beth Denberg accused Schneider of inappropriate behaviour when she was a teen star on the show.

In a statement sent to The Independent, Schneider called Denberg’s accusations “wildly exaggerated and, in most cases, false”.