Following Drake Bell's Arrest, Ex-Girlfriend Melissa Lingafelt's Allegations Of Abuse Resurface

Photo: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock and Jimi Ono / TikTok
Drake Bell and Melissa Lingafelt aka Jimi Ono

Former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell, 34, has been arrested in Cuyahoga County, OH on charges of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles and attempted endangering children.

Court documents obtained by various news outlets show the "Drake and Josh" star, who's real name is Jared Drake Bell, has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from an incident alleged to have taken place in Cleveland on December 1, 2017. He is currently out of jail on a $2,500 bond and must return to court for a hearing on June 23.

While Bell's arrest is surprising to many, others are nodding their heads as they remember the allegations raised in a TikTok posted by his ex-girlfriend, Melissa Lingafelt, less than a year back.

Who is Drake Bell's ex-girlfriend Melissa Lingafelt, and what did she accuse him of doing?

On August 12, 2021, model, actress and singer Melissa Lingafelt posted a lengthy video on TikTok in which she shared detailed allegations of the verbal and physical abuse she says she was subjected to while in a relationship with Drake Bell.

Lingafelt, who was born on December 20, 1989, was homeschooled as a teen. She moved into a Los Feliz, CA home with Bell after the two started dating. She was just 16.

Describing what she endured, Lingafelt said, "At the pinnacle of it, he drug [sic] 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," she continue. "I mean I will, but I'm scared."

At the time, Drake Bell responded in a statement to People, saying that he "never abused my ex-girlfriend or did so many of the other things Melissa falsely claimed on her TikTok video."

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Professionally, Lingafelt goes by the stage name Jimi Ono.

Her stage name is Jimi Ono, which is the name all of her social media handles are under.

While Lingafelt doesn’t have many acting credits to her name, she did appear in a Drake Bell short called "Drake Bell: I Know." She also had a small role in the 2008 party film "College" — which also happened to star Bell.

Her music has been generally well received by critics, with one reviewer referring to the song "I'm Alright" with Rynx as "an unstoppable EDM force."

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Lingafelt and Bell began dating when she was just 16.

In her TikTok video, Lingafelt revealed that she and Drake began dating when she was only 16 years old. Bell was 20 years old at the time.

In follow-up videos, she also shared screenshots of direct messages she received from other women claiming to be victims of abuse by Bell, including one who said Bell had sex with her when she was 15 and he was 20.

Lingafelt competed in the Miss Teen USA Pageant in 2006.

Melissa competed in the Miss Teen USA Pageant as Miss North Carolina Teen in 2006 and placed first runner up, losing the title to Katie Blair of Montana.

She didn’t walk away from the competition empty-handed, though, as she was voted Miss Photogenic by the public.

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Lingafelt and Bell seemingly kept in contact after their breakup.

The two dated from 2006-2009, and while Bell has adamantly denied Lingafelt’s abuse allegations, he did reveal that they had been in contact in the past year, claiming she had reached out to him for financial help.

In his statement, Drake said, “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," he continued. "But I cannot and will not allow these offensive and defamatory allegations to go unchallenged and I am reviewing my legal options."

Since coming forward, Lingafelt has had to defend herself from people saying she is only seeking attention and fame.

"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 in an Instagram story. "I have so many witnesses, I have photos, it was my life. 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!!!!!!!" she continued. "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."

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, there are ways to get help. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or visit the thehotline.org.

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Olivia Jakiel is an editor and writer who covers celebrity and entertainment news. Follow her on Instagram and keep up with her zingers on on Twitter.