- (Photo: Reuters/Reuters TV)
Actor Drake Bell is coming to the defense of his long time friend Amanda Bynes, and is saying drugs and mental illness have nothing to do with what she is going through.
Speaking to the press Saturday at Harrah's Resort in Atlantic City, Bell said the actress was doing just fine.
"Amanda and I are close," Bell, 26, told OK! Magazine. "We worked together for years. I talk to her every day. She's a sweetheart. I had lunch with her yesterday, and she's brilliant. She's good and she's healthy."
He attributes the bizarre behavior to a woman that is just trying to find herself after a long career.
"She's in a place right now where she is searching," he said according to the Daily News. "She's ready to be her own person, and do her own thing. … She is a girl who is finding herself."
He continued, "Amanda's a beautiful soul, she's funny. Anytime I've ever been with Amanda, she's totally coherent, totally there, totally everything."
Bell also stated Bynes is aware of how she may be perceived because of her appearance.
"I'm like, 'dude, you come off crazy,'" he said. "She's like, 'I know, but I don't mean to. I just changed the way I look!'"
The two worked together for several years on Nickelodeon's "All That" and "The Amanda Show," in the late 90s into the early 2000s.
This past weekend the retired actress was seen in Time's Square, New York City shopping at Forever 21 and MAC Cosmetics.
"At MAC Cosmetics she purchased a few things," a source told E! News. "As soon as she saw people noticed her, she paid and then ran out and pushed anyone who was in her way."
Later on in the day she went back out with a companion in hand, a puppy.