Actor Drake Bell (who starred in Nickelodeon series Drake & Josh) is denying physical and verbal abuse allegations made by his ex-girlfriend, Melissa Lingafelt (stage name Jimi Ono), in a series of TikTok videos.
One of Lingafelt's more detailed posts is a slideshow of images of the two when they were a couple, between August 2006 to February 2009 (as reported by People), with accompanying text reading: "This is my truth. I hope this message reaches young girls, and that no one has to go through what I did. #2020survivor."
Over the top of the video, Lingafelt says, "First off, 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 that I went through. It wasn’t until recently that I actually realised that abuse isn’t something that all women have to go through.
"When I started dating Drake I was 16, I was homeschooled, I moved in with him, I was singing. It wasn’t until about a year when the verbal abuse started. When I say 'verbal abuse', I mean imagine the worst type of verbal abuse you could ever imagine, and that was what I got."
Melissa then described how the abuse became physical, "It then turned into physical: hitting, throwing, everything. 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. I don’t even want to get into the underage girls thing. I mean, I will, but I’m scared."
Bell has now responded to the allegations 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 also added that he offered Lingafelt financial support recently, "I do not know if today’s behaviour 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."
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