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The ex-girlfriend of former child star Drake Bell has accused him of being verbally and physically abusive during their relationship.
Melissa Lingafelt, who is also known by her stage name Jimi Ono, shared her claims via a series of TikTok videos on Wednesday, during which she accused Bell of having a drinking problem and abusing her during her teen years. The caption of one video reads, “Think you can hurt my feelings? I lived with and dated an alcoholic, abusive Drake Bell from 16-19.”
Bell, now 34, has denied the claims, telling E! News, “I never abused my ex-girlfriend or did so many of the other things Melissa falsely claimed on her Tik Tok video. As our relationship ended — more than a decade ago — we unfortunately, both called each other terrible names, as often happens when couples are breaking up. But that is it.”
Lingafelt detailed her allegations in the audio of a video that included multiple photos of her and Bell during their relationship, which began in 2006 and lasted for more than two years. She began her video by saying, “First, I'd like to start off by saying I don't really care if anyone believes me as this is my story and my life and something that I went through. It wasn't until recently that I actually realized that abuse isn't something that all women have to go through.”
She stated that she was 16 years old and homeschooled when she began dating Bell and moved in with him; the verbal abuse, which she described as “the worst type of verbal abuse you could ever imagine,” started a year later, she claimed. Things then allegedly turned physical.
“It then turned into physical — hitting, throwing, everything,” she said. “At the pinnacle of it, he [dragged] me down the stairs of our house in Los Feliz. My face hit every step on the way down. I have photos of this.”
Lingafelt did not share the photos in the video, and went on to seemingly suggest further misconduct on Bell’s part, remarking, “I don’t even want to get into the underage girls thing. I mean I will, but I’m scared.”
In later videos, Lingafelt shared screenshots of direct messages she received from other women who said that they’d been victimized by Bell. In one of those conversations, Lingafelt alleged that Bell has “had sex with hundreds of underage girls.”
In a post on her Instagram Story, Lingafelt wrote that those who were close to her during her relationship with the “Drake & Josh” actor were aware of the abuse and reiterated that she has photos and other forms of evidence.
“Everyone that really knows me and has been a friend of mine for the past 15 years, knows all too well of the abuse that Drake Bell put me through. I have so many witnesses, I have photos, it was my life,” her post reads. “If you don't believe me, it is clear to me what kind of person you are, and I don't need that on my side [...] Nobody wants attention from abuse!!!!!!! I hope this gives girls the strength to come out about their experiences with him, because I know for a fact he has hundreds of victims."
In the response he issued to E! News, Bell suggested that he may be taking legal action against Lingafelt for her claims.
“Clearly, Melissa still felt close enough to me just last year that she was comfortable reaching out to ask me to provide her with financial support during a tough time (which I did),” he said. “I do not know if today's behavior is some kind of misguided quest for more money or attention. But I cannot and will not allow these offensive and defamatory allegations to go unchallenged and I am reviewing my legal options.”
Bell is most known for his work with Nickelodeon, having had a recurring role on the “The Amanda Show” and starring in “Drake & Josh” for four seasons, beginning in 2004. He is also a musician and released his third album in 2014.
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