Drake Bell's Ex-Girlfriend Melissa Lingafelt Accuses Him of Abuse, Actor Denies Claims
"At the pinnacle of it, he [dragged] me down the stairs of our house," Melissa Lingafelt said on TikTok Wednesday
Drake Bell has been accused of abuse by former girlfriend Melissa Lingafelt.
Lingafelt, who goes by her stage name Jimi Ono on social media, spoke out against the actor in a TikTok video on Wednesday, accusing Bell, now 34, of both verbal and physical abuse during their relationship. Bell is denying the allegations.
In a statement to PEOPLE, Bell said that he "never abused my ex-girlfriend or did so many of the other things Melissa falsely claimed on her TikTok video."
Lingafelt, who dated Drake & Josh star in 2006 for around 2 years, began her video by 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."
The singer and actress, now 30, explained that she and Bell began dating when she was 16 years old and homeschooled.
"I moved in with him, I was singing. It wasn't until about a year when the verbal abuse started," she said. "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 to physical — hitting, throwing, everything," she continued, accusing Bell of dragging her down some stairs in their home at one point during their relationship, which last from August 2006 to February 2009.
"At the pinnacle of it, he drug [sic] me down the stairs of our house on Los Feliz. My face hit every step on the way down. I have photos of this," the musician said. She did not share the photos on social media Wednesday.
"I don't even want to get into the underage girls thing," she added. "I mean I will, but I'm scared."
In two more TikTok videos, Lingafelt shared screenshots of direct message conversations that she said she received from others after posting her story. In one of those messages, the writer — whose name was covered up — accused Bell of having sex with a 15-year-old when he was 20.
On Instagram, the former Miss Teen USA competitor said friends of hers at the time were aware of the abuse she says she suffered at the hands of Bell.
"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 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."
In his statement to PEOPLE, Bell denied ever abusing his ex.
"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," Bell says. "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)," he says, adding that he plans to consider "legal options" in light of the accusations.
"I do not know if today’s behavior is some kind of misguided quest for more money or attention," Bell says. "But I cannot and will not allow these offensive and defamatory allegations to go unchallenged and I am reviewing my legal options."
If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.