At 34 years old, Drake Bell is arguably most known for his youth-oriented career as a Nickelodeon star on such series as The Amanda Show, All That and Drake & Josh with sometimes-bestie Josh Peck. (Of if you're more of a comic book fanatic, for his work as the titular hero in Disney XD's Ultimate Spider-Man and its multi-show universe.) Most recently, though, Bell's normally sparkling reputation has been thrown into question by a ex-girlfriend who took to social media to accuse the actor and musician of verbal and physical abuse. But Bell is denying almost all of the claims.
Melissa Lingafelt, who is said to have dated Drake Bell from 2006-2009 and lived with him during their time together, posted a video to TikTok this week that laid out some pretty serious accusations of rampant verbal abuse that later turned physical. However, a representative for Bell issued a statement from the celeb (via Variety) that denies all instances of physical assaults, while acknowledging that both parties engaged in verbal insults near the end of their relationship. Here's Bell's denial:
I never abused my ex-girlfriend or did so many of the other things Melissa falsely claimed on her TikTok 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. 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). 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.
Though Drake Bell did fess up to getting into some uncomfortable name-calling with Melissa Lingafelt during the final stage of their relationship, he is apparently looking into taking legal action against her for putting those accusations out there for the world to see. But at this point, she's apparently not the only one making such claims.
To quickly step back: Melissa Lingafelt (under screenname Jimi Ono) shared a TikTok post on Wednesday in which she narrated her claims over a montage of pictures of her with Drake Bell, from personal candid shots to red carpet photos. You can read what she said below.
First, I would like to start out with saying I don’t really care if anyone believes me as this is my story and my life and something I went through. It wasn’t until recently that I actually realized that abuse is something that all women have to go through. When I started dating Drake, I was 16. I was home-schooled. I moved in with him. I was singing. It wasn’t until about a year when the verbal abuse started. And when I say verbal abuse, imagine the worst type of verbal abuse you could ever imagine, and that was what I got. It then turned into physical — hitting, throwing, everything. At the pinnacle of it, he drug me down the stairs of our house in Los Feliz. My face hit every step on the way down. I have photos of this. . . . I don't even want to get into the underage girls thing. I mean I will, but I'm scared.
To her last point, Drake Bell was around 20 years old at the time he started dating the 16-year-old Melissa Lingafelt. But while she didn't delve too deeply into that topic during her initial posts, Lingafelt later updated her TikTok page with videos of text message conversations she had with others about Bell. It appears as if at least one is from a personal friend of Lingafelt, while several others are from strangers with their own accusations against the actor.
Perhaps the most relevant video updates, though, show the conversations that Lingafelt had with Drake Bell's ex-girlfriends that both preceded and succeeded her. A woman named Gillian Leos claimed to have dated Bell from 2001 to 2005 or 2006, and said she went through a similar situation with him, calling Bell a "narcissistic sociopath." She also claimed he broke every phone she had at the time.
As well, actress Paydin LoPachin also seemingly reached out to Melissa Lingafelt, in reference to her having dated Drake Bell in the years after he and Lingafelt split. LoPachin also claims she experienced "the same horrific verbal, physical and mental abuse," and called him out for being manipulative. In this exchange, as well as in others, it's alleged that Bell has had sex with multiple underage girls.
As of this writing, Drake Bell has only acknowledged and denied the accusations made by Melissa Lingafelt. However, more communication from the actor's camp may be needed if additional allegations against him start snowballing.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more on Drake Bell and the allegations against him. In the meantime, check out our 2020 Fall TV schedule to see what new and returning shows will be premiering soon.