Lori Beth Denberg Details Allegations Against Dan Schneider

In the wake of headline-making docuseries Quiet on Set, its subject Dan Schneider is facing new claims of sexual misconduct.

Former All That star Lori Beth Denberg tells Business Insider, in an interview conducted by Quiet on Set executive producer Kate Taylor, that Schneider played pornography for her, lashed out at her on set and once initiated phone sex.

In 1995, the powerful kids TV producer, who served as head writer on All That, called Denberg into his office, telling her that a female producer had met with him to discuss Denberg’s weight gain. He was reportedly upset and told Denberg he should’ve been the one to talk with her, since he “understood what it was like to be overweight,” Business Insider writes.

The conversation shifted, Denberg says, and Schneider showed Denberg, who was 19 at the time, pornography clips on his computer. This included a video of a woman performing oral sex on a donkey. “I feel like that is the first time he preyed on me,” the former Nickelodeon star told the publication.

She says that Schneider’s inappropriate dynamic with her started with frequent phone calls. He would talk about sex with her, she claims, and at one point, he took it further, initiating phone sex, Denberg says. When the All That production moved from Orlando to Los Angeles in 1996, Denberg would go to Schneider’s home, sleeping over at times.

Denberg says that she and Schneider initially did not have sex during her sleepovers at his home, but they would give each other massages, and he would show her porn. However, their relationship shifted to being sexual a couple of years later, she says.

The actress says that one night, when she was at Schneider’s home, the two were watching Jeopardy! and made a bet to see who could guess the most answers correctly. The winner’s prize would be a massage. When Denberg won, Schneider fondled her breasts and put his mouth on them.

Denberg says that for a while she didn’t think his behavior was inappropriate, given that she was not a minor at the time of their dynamic becoming sexual, but has since realized the power dynamic he took advantage of. She told the publication that the reason why she felt she couldn’t turn down Schneider was because her job was on the line.

Another reason why she was scared to confront him, she says, was his bad temper. She explains that Schneider would often have outbursts, which were an issue on set. She recalls that while out to dinner with writers and crew members, Schneider asked the group if they had noticed that Denberg’s breasts were different sizes.

Denberg, who was 18 or 19 at the time, threw a bread roll at Schneider so he would stop the inappropriate comments. However, he responded by screaming at her, then walking out of the dinner. “It was one of those turns that was just really upsetting and scary,” she says. “Everyone else seemed to completely blow it off.”

A former All That crew member, who remained anonymous, tells Business Insider that Schneider relished humiliating Denberg on set. In one situation, Schneider, the crew member says, made Denberg wait on a cold soundstage while soaking wet to film a “Sweaty Woman” sketch.

Denberg also says that Schneider wouldn’t write jokes for her recurring segment “Vital Information” until the last minute, not giving her time to rehearse before she had to perform live, which she sees as a “power play” on Schneider’s part.

After leaving All That in 1998, Denberg, who developed a friendship with Amanda Bynes, was invited by the young star to visit the Amanda Show set. While there, she noticed that Bynes looked “gaunt” and grew concerned about Bynes.

She says she told All That co-creator Brian Robbins, now part of a trio of execs running Paramount Global, about her concerns for Bynes, bursting into tears. According to Denberg, Robbins did not ask any follow up questions and said Schneider “hadn’t had it easy either,” Business Insider writes.

Denberg later decided to speak with Albie Hecht, who was the president of Nickelodeon Entertainment at the time. At first, he seemed to take her concerns seriously, calling her to say the network had made changes to Bynes’ shooting schedule.

However, Denberg later found out through a friend who worked on The Amanda Show that there was a picture of her hanging in a guard shack, pointing to her as someone who was among those banned from set.

In a statement shared with The Hollywood Reporter, Schneider denied Denberg’s allegations. “Lori Beth’s accusations of me are wildly exaggerated and, in most cases, false,” he said. “The fact that an executive producer of Quiet on Set would pursue allegations regarding what may have happened between adults nearly 30 years ago — only a week after I filed a defamation lawsuit accusing Quiet on Set of being intentionally false and misleading — seems more than coincidental.”

Schneider continued, “As I have previously stated, there were times, particularly in the early years of my career, that I made mistakes and exhibited poor judgment as a leader. If I did that with respect to Lori Beth, I sincerely apologize to her. But I cannot apologize for things I did not do.”

Nickelodeon and Paramount have not yet responded to THR‘s requests for comment


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