Drake Bell's ex-girlfriend, Melissa Lingafelt, claims she saw the former Drake & Josh star send messages to "extremely young girls" during their relationship. Lingafelt, 31, spoke to The Daily Beast on Friday, hours after Bell, 34, was arrested in Cleveland for allegedly sending sexual messages to a 15-year-old. Bell and Lingafelt dated from 2006 to 2009, and she accused Bell of abuse last year.
Bell and Lingafelt began dating when he was 20 and she was 16. In August 2020, she posted several TikTok videos, alleging that she faced verbal and physical abuse from Bell during their relationship. The singer, who also uses the name Jimi Ono, made reference to an "underage girl thing," but she said she was "scared" to speak out about it. Lingafelt said she received messages from fans who claimed they had sexual relationships with Bell when they were underage. After Lingafelt came forward, Bell issued a statement claiming he never abused her, adding that the two called "each other terrible names" when they broke up. He also accused her of asking him for "financial support."
Now, Lingafelt said the allegations Bell faces are a "prime example" of what she claims to have seen during their relationship. She claims he had "inappropriate conversations online with underage girls." Some of the girls Bell allegedly communicated with here "extremely young." Lingafelt told The Daily Beast. "I saw really questionable, crazy s— on his computer. The stuff he'd be looking at was f— insane," she said. "I don't pray that people will come forward... I just know that they will."
Bell was charged with felony attempted endangering children, and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, a misdemeanor, reports Fox 8 News. The actor is accused of having an inappropriate conversation of a sexual nature with the alleged victim on Dec. 1, 2017. According to prosecutors, the 15-year-old victim first filed a police report in Canada in October 2018 about the alleged incident in Cleveland. Canadian authorities then contacted Cleveland authorities, who started an investigation, officials said. Investigator said the victim began speaking with Bell several years before they met at his Cleveland concert.
Bell appeared in court on Thursday. He pleaded not guilty and was asked to submit to a DNA test. He was released from custody after posting a $2,500 bond and was ordered not to contact the victim. A pre-trial hearing was scheduled for June 23. Bell is also known as Drake Campana, a name he apparently legally changed his name to when he moved to Mexico.
As for Langafelt, she said Bell's arrest doesn't feel like any vindication. In fact, she wishes she wasn't associated with Bell in any way. She hoped other possible victims speak out. "I want the people—the kids—to be able to talk for themselves and stand up for themselves. I'm glad they won't be hushed in the same way that I was. I hope that me talking about my bullshit was able to help someone else come forward," she told the Daily Beast. "So, I guess it's bittersweet in a way, like, everyone who was calling me a piece of s—, can you just look at this?"