The 2000s were a moment for Disney Channel original movies and television series. However, for one star of Disney Channel’s Golden Age, his appearance on Wizards of Waverly Place did not skyrocket him to superstardom as it did for some of his co-stars but instead led him to “trip and fall” into the world of adult entertainment.
The Wizards of Waverly Place began in 2007. After a string of successes with the likes of Hannah Montana, Lizzie McGuire, and The Suite Life of Zach & Cody, The Walt Disney Company’s next show brought Selena Gomez into the limelight in her leading role as Alex Russo, a wizard living on Waverly Place in New York City with her wizard brothers, Justin (David Henrie) and Max (Jake T. Austin). The Disney Channel show was hugely popular and has the highest-viewed Disney Channel finale on record.
As for Selena Gomez, the star went on to dominate the charts in the music industry while also having a successful acting career, currently appearing in Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building alongside Steve Martin and Martin Short. She is also an executive producer for the mystery-comedy series.
But in looking at the rest of Wizards of Waverly Place cast, which also included David Deluise as Jerry Russo and Maria Canals Barrera as Theresa Russo, one actor stands out as having drifted into an all-new arena. Adult entertainment.
Playing Zeke Beakerman, Dan Benson was a recurring actor on the Disney Channel show, but it wasn’t all positive behind the scenes. Benson would often receive nude images from women and would reply with his own. These explicit images would find their way online, without his consent.
Speaking out on his TikTok, the actor said (via the LA Times):
“That was a pretty traumatic experience. And for years I went about trying to get rid of them, get them off the internet, because obviously I did not want them out there.”
Benson spoke about how the leaked images almost caused him to lose his job, and that after The Wizards of Waverly Place, acting roles began to dry up.
However, the Disney Channel star made the decision to reclaim the narrative and lean into – or tripping and falling as he describes it – into adult entertainment.
“Instead of letting these people sell my privacy … I decided to say ‘Screw you, I’m gonna sell it myself instead. It changed my life for the better.”
Benson now sells explicit photographs and images on OnlyFans to his subscribers, and despite having done so for a while, has recently blown up online as more people discover this new career.
For those wanting to see Dan Benson prior to his shift into adult entertainment, then The Wizards of Waverly Place, The Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie (2009), and The Wizards of Waverly Place: Alex vs. Alex (2013), are all available to stream on The Walt Disney Company’s streaming service, Disney+.
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