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Drake Bell denies ex-girlfriend's allegations of physical abuse

Drake Bell denies ex-girlfriend's allegations of physical abuse
© Reuters
Drake Bell denies claims from an ex-girlfriend that he verbally and physically abused her during their relationship.

Drake Bell has vehemently denied allegations that he verbally and physically abused ex-girlfriend Melissa Lingafelt.

The 34-year-old actor is a former Nickelodeon teen star, appearing in shows such as Drake & Josh and The Amanda Show in the early noughties.

Lingafelt, who goes by the moniker Jimi Ono on TikTok, posted a video on Wednesday accusing Bell of domestic abuse when they were together for three years more than a decade ago.

"First, 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 I went through," she said.

"It wasn't until recently that I actually realised that abuse is something that all women have to go through. When I started dating Drake, I was 16. I was home-schooled, I moved in with him, I was singing.

"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.

"It then turned into physical - hitting, throwing, everything. At the pinnacle of it, he drug me down the stairs of our house in Los Feliz. My face hit every step on the way down. I have photos of this."

In a statement issued through his representative to Variety, Bell insisted that Lingafelt's account of their relationship is false and suggested that her video could be a "misguided quest for more money or attention".

"I never abused my ex-girlfriend or did so many of the other things Melissa falsely claimed on her TikTok video," he said. "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.

"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 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 and I am reviewing my legal options."

Bell has been in a relationship with actress Janet Von since 2014.

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