Victoria Justice breaks silence on 'complex' relationship with embattled children's TV producer Dan Schneider - reflects on Nickelodeon days calling them 'in poor taste'

Victoria Justice has broken her silence on reflected on her 'complex' relationship with  Dan Schneider while calling her Nickelodeon days 'in poor taste' just weeks after the embattled children's TV producer sued Quiet On Set: The Dark Side Of Kids TV producers for defamation.

The 31-year-old former child actress is featured on the cover story for the June issue of Marie Claire as she talked candidly about her working experience as a child and her reaction to the docuseries.

As a preteen, Victoria and family had moved to Los Angeles in order for her to pursue her acting career and one year into it she got her big break on Jamie Lynn Spears' series Zoey 101.

After three seasons on the Nickelodeon show, she was able to land her own spin-off titled Victorious thanks to showrunner Dan Schneider, now 58, who has since been accused of workplace misconduct and sexual harassment.

Victoria does see her time at Nickelodeon positively but did highlight some of the negatives while discussing Quiet On Set with Marie Claire as she said: '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.'

Victoria Justice has broken her silence on reflected on her 'complex' relationship with Dan Schneider while calling her Nickelodeon days 'in poor taste'

Victoria Justice has broken her silence on reflected on her 'complex' relationship with Dan Schneider while calling her Nickelodeon days 'in poor taste'

This came just weeks after the embattled children's TV producer sued Quiet On Set: The Dark Side Of Kids TV producers for defamation; they are pictured in February 2012

This came just weeks after the embattled children's TV producer sued Quiet On Set: The Dark Side Of Kids TV producers for defamation; they are pictured in February 2012

Many of those interviewed in the docuseries had accused Schneider of sneaking sexual overtones and double entendres into children's programming but the actress said that was not her personal experience but did admit there were certain moments that 'were in poor taste.'

After the release of the docuseries Schneider had addressed some of the allegations and did admit that he owes apologies to many people.

Victoria told writer of the piece Jazmine Hughes: 'I would say I'm definitely one of the people on that list.'

The actress said that she has rarely been in contact with the former producer since she left the children's network aside from an occasional birthday text.

She explained: 'I'm not condoning any of his behavior.  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.'

Victoria seemingly still has a soft spot for the embattled producer especially after seeing his apology.

She said: 'After watching his apology, I think he recognizes 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.'

As a preteen, Victoria and family had moved to Los Angeles in order for her to pursue her acting career and one year into it she got her big break on Jamie Lynn Spears' series Zoey 101

As a preteen, Victoria and family had moved to Los Angeles in order for her to pursue her acting career and one year into it she got her big break on Jamie Lynn Spears' series Zoey 101

After three seasons on the Nickelodeon show, she was able to land her own spin-off titled Victorious thanks to showrunner Dan Schneider, now 58, who has since been accused of workplace misconduct and sexual harassment

After three seasons on the Nickelodeon show, she was able to land her own spin-off titled Victorious thanks to showrunner Dan Schneider, now 58, who has since been accused of workplace misconduct and sexual harassment

The 31-year-old former child actress is featured on the cover story for the June issue of Marie Claire as she talked candidly about her working experience as a child and her reaction to the docuseries

The 31-year-old former child actress is featured on the cover story for the June issue of Marie Claire as she talked candidly about her working experience as a child and her reaction to the docuseries

Victoria does see her time at Nickelodeon positively but did highlight some of the negatives while discussing Quiet On Set with Marie Claire as she said: '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'

Victoria does see her time at Nickelodeon positively but did highlight some of the negatives while discussing Quiet On Set with Marie Claire as she said: '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'

After the release of the docuseries Schneider had addressed some of the allegations and did admit that he owes apologies to many people as Victoria told writer of the piece Jazmine Hughes: 'I would say I'm definitely one of the people on that list'

After the release of the docuseries Schneider had addressed some of the allegations and did admit that he owes apologies to many people as Victoria told writer of the piece Jazmine Hughes: 'I would say I'm definitely one of the people on that list'

Earlier this month it was revealed that  Schneider is suing the producers of Quiet On Set for defamation - claiming the harrowing docuseries falsely portrayed him as a child sex abuser.

Schneider was at the center of the explosive Investigation Discovery series which divulged many allegations of inappropriate conduct on Nickelodeon shows.

He was previously sued over accusations of gender discrimination, hostile work environment and harassment.

Schneider's lawsuit obtained by DailyMail.com takes aim at the series as well as creators, Warner Bros. Discovery, Maxine Productions, Sony Pictures Television and others for falsely implying he sexually abused child actors who worked on his shows.

Attorneys for the star claim the docuseries was a 'hit job' against him and says the defendants did the show for 'clickbait, ratings, and views - or simply put, money.'

Schneider, who began working at the network in 1993, launched the careers of child actors who became major stars including Miranda Cosgrove, Jamie Lynn Spears and Ariana Grande.

Earlier this month it was revealed that Schneider is suing the producers of Quiet On Set for defamation - claiming the harrowing docuseries falsely portrayed him as a child sex abuser

Earlier this month it was revealed that Schneider is suing the producers of Quiet On Set for defamation - claiming the harrowing docuseries falsely portrayed him as a child sex abuser

Schneider, 58, was at the center of the explosive Investigation Discovery series which divulged many allegations of inappropriate conduct on Nickelodeon shows

Schneider, 58, was at the center of the explosive Investigation Discovery series which divulged many allegations of inappropriate conduct on Nickelodeon shows

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The suit alleges the show tried to portray Schneider in the same light as two other convicted sex offenders who worked on Nickelodeon shows.

Dialogue coach Brian Peck, 63, served 16 months in prison in 2004-2005 after being arrested on 11 charges — including sodomy, lewd act upon a child 14 or 15 by a person 10 years older, and oral copulation by anesthesia or controlled substance. Drake Bell identified himself as the minor Peck abused in Quiet On Set.

Production assistant Jason Michael Handy was sentenced to six years on two felony counts and one misdemeanor involving two girls in April 2023.

His home was searched in 2003 where authorities found an 'enormous trove of child pornography' including more than 10,000 images of children. He also admitted to being a 'full blown pedophile' in vile journals.

Schneider's attorneys added: 'Schneider had no knowledge of their abuse, was not complicit in the abuse, condemned the abuse once it was discovered and, critically, was not a child sexual abuser himself.'

Schneider also claims Quiet On Set intentionally used misleading statements and editing techniques in the trailer and several episodes to falsely portray him as a pedophile.

His lawyer noted the trailer where his success at Nickelodeon was tied to one of the network's 'darkest chapters' - before cutting to a True Crime Event graphic - which they say implies Schneider committed a crime against children.

Schneider states in the lawsuit that while he was 'blind' to some of his bad behavior on set - none of this was connected to child sex abuse.

The suit alleges the show used manipulative editing techniques to create a false impression of Schneider to try and portray him in the same light as two other convicted sex offenders who worked on Nickelodeon shows - including dialogue coach Brian Peck (pictured)

The suit alleges the show used manipulative editing techniques to create a false impression of Schneider to try and portray him in the same light as two other convicted sex offenders who worked on Nickelodeon shows - including dialogue coach Brian Peck (pictured)

He told the publication: 'Recently the docuseries highlighted mistakes I made and poor judgment I exhibited during my time at Nickelodeon, most of which happened decades ago during my early career as a producer, working on shows for Tollin/Robbins Productions. There is no doubt that I was sometimes a bad leader. I am sincerely apologetic and regretful for that behavior, and I will continue to take accountability for it.

'They went beyond reporting the truth and falsely implied that I was involved in or facilitated horrific crimes for which actual child predators have been prosecuted and convicted. I have no objection to anyone highlighting my failures as a boss, but it is wrong to mislead millions of people to the false conclusion that I was in any way involved in heinous acts like those committed by child predators.'

Production assistant Jason Michael Handy was sentenced to six years on two felony counts and one misdemeanor involving two girls in April 2023.

Production assistant Jason Michael Handy was sentenced to six years on two felony counts and one misdemeanor involving two girls in April 2023.

Schneider is suing for defamation and seeking unspecified damages - claiming he has suffered mental distress and financial losses as a result of the docuseries.

DailyMail.com has contacted representatives for Investigation Discovery, Maxine Productions and Sony Pictures Television for comment.

Schneider has previously admitted that he  had overstepped professional boundaries and conceded he owed 'some people a pretty strong apology.'

In a YouTube interview Schneider, who was previously described as 'Nickelodeon's golden boy,' began by addressing the furor head on as he explained: 'Watching over the past two nights was very difficult.

'Me facing my past behaviors - some of which are embarrassing and that I regret. I definitely owe some people a pretty strong apology.'

Former assistant Amy Berg also took to X, formerly Twitter, in recent days to slam Schneider as a 'f***ing a**hole.'

She branded him as a 'psychological tormenter' and a 'manipulator' before claiming his treatment caused her to suffer panic attacks, anxiety, and develop a 'heart arrhythmia.'

Addressing the widespread reports of inappropriate behavior in the writers' room, Schneider said: 'Let me just say no writer should ever feel uncomfortable in any writers' room. Ever. Period. The End. No excuses.

'Most TV writers comedy writers have been in writer rooms and they are aware that a lot of times there a re inappropriate jokes made and inappropriate topics come up.

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Schneider, who was previously described as 'Nickelodeon's golden boy,' began working at the network in 1993 (pictured with Ariana Grande)

Schneider, who was previously described as 'Nickelodeon's golden boy,' began working at the network in 1993 (pictured with Ariana Grande)

Attorneys for the star claim the docuseries was a 'hit job' against him and says the defendants did the show for 'clickbait, ratings, and views -- or simply put, money'

Attorneys for the star claim the docuseries was a 'hit job' against him and says the defendants did the show for 'clickbait, ratings, and views -- or simply put, money'

[video_shortcode_video_html_5 src="https://videos.dailymail.co.uk/video/mol/2024/03/05/8254408532837156638/1024x576_MP4_8254408532837156638.mp4" itemprop="image" content="https://videos.dailymail.co.uk/video/mol/2024/03/05/8254408532837156638/1024x576_MP4_8254408532837156638.mp4" data-src="https://videos.dailymail.co.uk/video/mol/2024/03/05/8254408532837156638/1024x576_MP4_8254408532837156638.mp4"]

'But the fact that I participated in that e specially when I was leading the room embarrasses me. I shouldn't have d one it.'

He continued: 'I can tell you why it hurts really bad for me. I remember very clearly my first experiences in the entertainment business.

'I was green, I was scared, I was excited - it meant the world to me that I was getting those opportunities and I went in and I got lucky because they were great.

'My first couple of experiences were fantastic and t he fact that I didn't pay that forward to every employee that walked through my door it hurts my heart because I should have. I wish I could go back and fix that.'

The documentary had also explained that Nickelodeon had raised eyebrows under Schneider's leadership with some of its shows that were 'full of uncomfortable sketches.'

Among them were 'disturbing' scenes that 'sexualized' child stars - including Ariana Grande who featured in scenes sticking her hand down her throat, putting her toes in her mouth, and talking about being 'soaking wet' at the age of 16.

'It was clear that there was a permissibility around these sexualized jokes with children,' commentators in the documentary shared.

Drake Bell revealed he was the minor sexually abused by Peck on Quiet On Set

Drake Bell revealed he was the minor sexually abused by Peck on Quiet On Set

In recent months, a resurfaced clip being circulated online shows Schneider in a hot tub with an underage Amanda Bynes during a Nickelodeon sketch

In recent months, a resurfaced clip being circulated online shows Schneider in a hot tub with an underage Amanda Bynes during a Nickelodeon sketch

Among the 'disturbing' scenes that 'sexualized' child stars - including Ariana Grande who featured in scenes sticking her hand down her throat, putting her toes in her mouth, and talking about being 'soaking wet' at the age of 16
Among the 'disturbing' scenes that 'sexualized' child stars - including Ariana Grande who featured in scenes sticking her hand down her throat, putting her toes in her mouth, and talking about being 'soaking wet' at the age of 16

Among the 'disturbing' scenes that 'sexualized' child stars - including Ariana Grande who featured in scenes sticking her hand down her throat, putting her toes in her mouth, and talking about being 'soaking wet' at the age of 16

Responding to the criticism, Schneider said: 'All these jokes that you're speaking of... every one of those jokes was written for a kid audience because kids thought they were funny - and only funny.

'Now we have some adults looking back at them 20 years later through their lens and they're looking at them and they're saying "oh you know I don't think that's appropriate for for a kid show."

'I have no problem with that if that's how anyone feels then let's cut those jokes out of the show.

'I want my shows to be popular... so if there's anything in a show that needs to be cut because it's upsetting somebody let's cut it.

'The last thing I want to ever do is put any content in a show that's going to upset my audience and make them want to turn off the TV. Why would I ever want to do that? That makes no sense.'

In recent months, a resurfaced clip being circulated online shows Schneider in a hot tub with an underage Amanda Bynes during a Nickelodeon sketch.

The scene in question - which is understood to have been filmed in 2002, when Bynes was around the age of 16 - shows Schneider sitting next to a bikini-clad Bynes for the skit, which he wrote himself, with commentators branding it as 'very uncomfortable.'

But Schneider, who is 20 years Bynes' senior, defended his friendship with the child star and said he had only been trying to help her 'regardless of what some people may think.'

Schneider was quick to distance himself from the predators and stated that he had not been responsible for hiring Peck.

He added: 'When Drake and I talked and he told me what had happened I was more devastated by that than anything that ever happened to me in my career thus far.

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'I told him "I'm here for you, what do you need" which Drake mentioned in the show.'

Schneider went one step further by slamming the famous faces who had continued to show their support to Peck even after the charges came to light - sitting on his side in court and writing letters of support during sentencing.

Schneider left Nickelodeon in 2018 and said at the time he was parting ways to pursue 'other opportunities and projects.

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