Drake Bell’s ex-girlfriend Melissa Lingafelt accused him of verbal and physical abuse 11 years after their split.
Lingafelt, 30, made the allegations in a series of TikTok videos on Wednesday, August 12, saying, “First off I’d like to start out 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.”
Lingafelt, who also goes by the name Jimi Ono, told her followers that she started dating the Drake & Josh alum, now 34, in August 2006 when she was 16 and he was 20. They were together until February 2009.
“I was homeschooled, I moved in with him, I was singing,” she said. “It wasn’t until about a year [into the relationship] 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 [sic] me down the stairs of our house in Los Feliz, [California]. My face hit every step on the way down. I have photos of this.”
The former Miss Teen USA competitor added, “I don’t even want to get into the underage girls thing. I mean, I will, but I’m scared.”
This is my truth. I hope this message reaches young girls, and that no one has to go through what I did. #2020survivor
Lingafelt went on to share screenshots of direct messages she received from other women after posting her first TikTok video. One message alleged that Bell had sex with a 15-year-old when he was 20. Lingafelt further claimed on her Instagram Stories that some of her friends witnessed the alleged abuse.
“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,” she wrote. “I have so many witnesses. I have photos, it was my life. If you don’t believe me, it is clear to me what type of person you are, and I don’t need that on my side. No body [sic] wants attention from abuse!!!!!!!”
The Amanda Show alum denied Lingafelt’s allegations in a statement to Variety on Wednesday night, saying, “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.”
He continued, “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.”
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