Drake Bell denies allegations of past abuse by ex-girlfriend

Melissa Lingafelt, who uses the stage name Jimi Ono, has accused the former Nickelodeon actor of physical and verbal abuse when they dated in the 2000s.
/ Source: TODAY

A former girlfriend of Drake Bell has accused him of abusing her while they were together, allegations that the 34-year-old actor and performer denied Wednesday.

Melissa Lingafelt, 30, who uses the stage name Jimi Ono on her social media accounts, claims in a clip posted on her TikTok that she dated Bell when she was 16 and that they had lived together.

@jimiono

This is my truth. I hope this message reaches young girls, and that no one has to go through what I did. ##2020survivor

♬ original sound - jimiono

"I was homeschooled, I moved in with him, I was singing," she said in the video. "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 can ever imagine, and that was what I got."

Lingafelt said his abuse turned physical. "Hitting, throwing, everything," she said. "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."

Drake Bell and Melissa Lingafelt at a movie premiere in Los Angeles in 2008.Matt Baron / BEI/Shutterstock

Bell denied Lingafelt's claims in a statement to TODAY issued shortly after the TikTok was posted.

“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 behavior 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."

Lingafelt has not immediately responded to TODAY's request for additional comment. On Thursday morning, she posted a message on Twitter thanking followers for their support.

"As I have stated, I understand if people are skeptical," she wrote. "Everyone that has made accusations, including myself, ALL have witness accounts and evidence. Justice will be served!"

Lingafelt appears to be a musical artist and former actor and beauty pageant contestant based on her IMDb page. Bell is known for his roles on Nickelodeon TV shows, including "Drake & Josh."