Former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell is questioning if Melissa Lingafelt is embarking on a “misguided quest for more money or attention” and denies her allegations that he abused her.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Lingafelt, also known as Jimi Ono, claims the “Drake & Josh” star not only verbally abused her but physically abused her when they dated for two and a half years back in 2006.
In a TikTok video posted on Wednesday, Lingafelt said, “It wasn’t until recently that I actually realized 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,” she continued. “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.” She said it later turned physical.
“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. I don’t even want to get into the underage girls thing. I mean, I will, but I’m scared.” During the TikTok video, Lingafelt is seen flipping through photo albums and other images; however, there were no pictures or videos of the alleged abuse.
Lingafelt also said there was underage misconduct that took place in the course of their relationship.
Bell, 34, in a statement to People, denies the allegations, saying he never abused her or “did so many of the other things Melissa falsely claimed on her TikTok video.” The two’s relationship ended over a decade ago.
“We, unfortunately, both called each other terrible names, as often happens when couples are breaking up. But that is it,” he said, questioning if the recent remarks are an attempt for Lingafelt to get money. He said he would look into his legal options.
“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),” Bell added.