Former Child Star Alison Sweeney Responds to ‘Quiet On Set’ Abuse Allegations

Alison Sweeney

Heavy/Getty Hallmark actress and former child star Alison Sweeney

Longtime Hallmark star Alison Sweeney, who’s been acting since she was four years old, has a lot of compassion for the former Nickelodeon child stars who have shared their stories of trauma and abuse in the Investigation Discovery docuseries “Quiet On Set: The Dark Side of Kids’ TV,” which premiered in March 2024, with a fifth episode released on April 7.

Sweeney started acting before she was in kindergarten, but is best known for the 21 years she spent, from 1993 to 2014, playing Sami Brady on the soap opera “Days of Our Lives.” That role began when she was 16, per TV Insider.

In an interview with the Daily Mail published on April 5, the “Hannah Sweeney Mysteries” star said that while she survived child stardom without experiencing the kinds of workplace abuse alleged in “Quiet On Set,” she heard and saw enough — including an “situation” her mom rescued her from at one point — to trust that their stories are true.

“I completely have so much compassion,” she told the outlet. “My God, these heartbreaking stories are just devastating and I can see how it could have happened. But I’m just grateful that that’s not my story.”

Alison Sweeney Says Her Parents Never Left Her Alone on Set, Likely Protecting Her From Possible Trauma

Alison Sweeney

Alison Sweeney at the “Charlie”s Angels” premiere in October 2000.

Sweeney started acting when she was four, appearing in a Kodak commercial at the time, per the Daily Mail. She credits her parents — especially mom Penny Sweeney — for never leaving her alone on set when she was a kid and steering her away from any kind of questionable activities.

“I am so lucky, I’ve been working professionally since I was four years old and my mother and my father were very involved in my career and every day on set, and I was so lucky to have that experience and the opportunity,” she told the outlet.

Now 47, Sweeney added that she was never pressured to be in the business when she was younger.

“I can only speak to my own journey, but I wanted to be an actor, I loved it so much,” she told the Daily Mail. “I wanted it since I was four years old, and so I can’t believe sometimes I wake up and this is my life. So, my parents were never in a situation of trying to pressure me to do the job or learn my lines or whatever. I was the driver of that, I wanted to be there.”

But because she was so passionate about acting as a kid, Sweeney said there was “a really important power structure in place” with her parents, who wouldn’t let her act if she didn’t keep her grades up or got out of line.

“I can’t even describe to you how grateful I am now looking back on it, having that kind of important parenting in place,” she continued, adding that they also guarded her from working with producers and directors they weren’t comfortable with.

On March 25, after seeing the trailer of “Quiet On Set,” Sweeney told Fox Digital, “I was shocked. I guess I should say shocked but not surprised. In fact, when I was watching the trailer, I thought to myself, ‘This is exactly what my mother worked so hard to protect me from as a child actor.’”

Sweeney recalled to the Daily Mail, “There was one situation, one time where my mom saw something and she was like, “We’re leaving right now, we’re not doing that.”

“My parents just didn’t allow for that, for me to be exposed to anything inappropriate when I was child, and they never left me alone with anybody, ever, that would have created that kind of opportunity for someone to take advantage,” she continued. “They just didn’t tolerate it.”

Sweeney told the Daily Mail she’s grateful her parents trusted their “instinct” in each situation, especially at a time when child endangerment and workplace abuse weren’t as clearly defined or safeguarded against.

“We were in an era where people didn’t talk about stuff like that, people didn’t know,” she said. “But my parents were like, ‘That doesn’t seem right and we’re not doing it, nope.’ And I’m so grateful.”

‘Quiet On Set’ Exposes Alleged Behind-the-Scenes Abuse on Nickelodeon Shows 20 Years Ago

In the “Quiet On Set” docuseries hosted by Soledad O’Brien, multiple former Nickelodeon child stars allege they were abused and manipulated by their superiors, including Dan Schneider, who created some of Nickelodeon’s biggest hit shows in the 90s and 2000s including “iCarly,” “Drake & Josh,” “Victorious,” “Kenan & Kel,” and “The Amanda Show,” according to People.

In 2018, Nickelodeon abruptly cut ties with Schneider in the wake of “staff allegations about abusive behavior,” per TV Insider.

Schneider issued a 20-minute response on YouTube after “Quiet On Set” premiered, according to Variety, in which he said, “I definitely owe some people a pretty strong apology.”

“Drake & Josh” star Drake Bell, now 37, has also appeared to publicly share his account for the first time of being sexually assaulted by Nickelodeon dialogue coach Brian Peck when he was 15, per CNN, which cited a Warner Bros. press release that said Peck “was convicted in 2004 for his crimes against Drake and ordered to register as a sex offender.”

In the latest episode of “Quiet On Set,” according to People, Bell reacted to recent backlash against his mom, claiming she didn’t protect him from Peck.

“I do feel there’s a lot of people kind of, after the doc, going after my mom a bit,” he told O’Brien. “But if you were in that situation at that time, he was so good at what he was doing, Brian, he was so calculated, he knew exactly what to say, how to say it, what to do, the image to portray, everything. I completely understand how he just pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes. It’s tragic.”