The shady side of Drake Bell

Fans of Nickelodeon might remember that Drake Bell was once the face of the network. After an early start to his acting career, which included minor roles in TV shows like Home Improvement, Seinfeld, and the film Jerry McGuire, per IMDB, the actor went on to star in The Amanda Show before landing a lead role in Drake & Josh in 2004. For years, he and his costar, Josh Peck, made viewers crack up laughing with their comedic chemistry, and it was safe to assume Bell had a bright future ahead of him. Not only was he a talented — and super likable — actor, but he could sing, too. 

Unfortunately, after Drake & Josh ended in 2007, so did Bell's stardom. He struggled to land any other notable roles in Hollywood, and in 2014, he filed for bankruptcy in California, according to People. During this time, he also started posting some controversial tweets about Justin Bieber and made pointed comments about Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga's success. In December 2015, he was even arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) and sentenced to four days in jail, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Following his short stint in jail, Bell stayed relatively under the radar until Aug. 12, 2020, when his ex-girlfriend, Melissa Lingafelt, posted a TikTok video claiming he abused her both verbally and physically when they were together. Keep scrolling to find out more about the shady side of Drake Bell.

Drake Bell allegedly abused his ex-girlfriend

In a TikTok video posted on Aug. 12, 2020, Drake Bell's ex-girlfriend Melissa Lingafelt — aka musician Jimi Ono — claimed the actor verbally and physically abused her during their nearly three-year relationship when she was 16. People reported the relationship lasted from August 2006 to February 2009. "This is my truth. I hope this message reaches young girls, and that no one has to go through what I did," Lingafelt captioned the video, which has garnered millions of views.

In the video, she describes the alleged abuse, which includes "the worst type of verbal abuse you can ever imagine." She claimed that the verbal abuse started one year into their relationship and then "it then turned into physical — hitting, throwing, everything." Lingafelt continued, "At the pinnacle of it, he drug [sic] me down the stairs of our house in Los Feliz. My face hit every step on the way down. I have photos of this."

Lingafelt also shared DMs from other people who claimed that the actor had committed acts of sexual misconduct and assault against them, some of whom were underage at the time, according to Refinery29.

Bell later released a statement via People, refuting his ex's accusations. "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," he said before revealing he plans to consider "legal options" because he believes her behavior is "some kind of misguided quest for more money or attention."

Drake Bell was arrested for DUI two times

Drake Bell was arrested and taken into custody in Glendale, Calif. on Dec. 21, 2015, on suspicion of driving under the influence. At the time, the Los Angeles Times reported the actor was stopped by police around 2:20 a.m. PST after authorities allegedly witnessed him swerving on the road. The police officer who pulled him over also smelled alcohol coming from the car and Bell later failed a field sobriety test. He paid $20,000 bail to be released after his arrest, per the New York Daily News.

According to E! News, Bell was sentenced to four days in jail with four years probation because it was his second DUI in 10 years. (He was busted for his first DUI back in 2009 while in San Diego, Calif., and was charged in 2010) The Los Angeles Times reported he was also required to complete an "18-month multiple offender alcohol education program and comply with any DMV orders and restrictions on his driving privileges."

Drake Bell started a feud with Josh Peck

Drake Bell started a feud with his former Drake & Josh costar, Josh Peck after he realized he didn't get invited to his wedding. Peck married his longtime girlfriend Paige O'Brien in Malibu, Calif. in June 2017 — and fans were quick to notice and wonder why his TV "brotha" and longtime friend was not there to celebrate his big day, according to E! News. It didn't take long for Bell to address the speculation, tweeting, "When you're not invited to the wedding the message is clear..." He then followed up his tweet with two more scathing messages. "True colors have come out today. Message is loud and clear. Ties officially cut. I'll miss you brotha," referencing one of their characters' iconic phrases. "Loyalty is key. ALWAYS remember where you came from," he added.

One month later, Bell opened up to People about getting snubbed and said he regretted posting the tweets. "I was caught off guard," he explained. "I hadn't heard of anything about it." The actor also confirmed there were no hard feelings between him and Peck. "He's been my best friend for 18 years," he explained. "In all honesty, we talk all the time, we've been talking. I was just expecting..."

In August 2017, the two men hugged it out and officially put an end their feud at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Drake Bell made transphobic comments about Caitlyn Jenner

Back in 2015, Caitlyn Jenner unveiled her iconic Vanity Fair cover that featured her as a transgender woman for the first time. Although fans and other celebrities quickly embraced the Olympic athlete's decision to transition at 65, the Drake & Josh star's response was nothing short of transphobic and very disrespectful. "Sorry...still calling you Bruce," he wrote, referencing Caitlyn's birth name, per The Hollywood Reporter.

The now-deleted tweet immediately sparked criticism, which led Bell to follow up with another message. "I'm not dissing him! I just don't want to forget his legacy! He is the greatest athlete of all time! Chill out!" he wrote before adding in another tweet, "Calm down children." Of course, it's anti-trans to misgender a person, so this was another fail on his part.

 After that, he tweeted out an apology, according to TIME, writing, "I sincerely apologize for my thoughtless insensitive remarks. I in no way meant to hurt or demean those going through a similar journey. Although my comments were made in innocence, I deeply regret the negative effect they've had on so many."

Drake Bell was accused of bullying Justin Bieber

For some reason, Drake Bell targeted Justin Bieber and his younger fans on Twitter in 2013. In fact, things got so heated that "Drakesters vs Beliebers" became a trending topic on Twitter, according to J-14. It all started when the former Nickelodeon star called the pop star out for not writing his own music. Bell then teased Bieber about wearing makeup, looking like Miley Cyrus, and even made fun of his height. Although Bieber never responded to Bell's tweets, his fans quickly came to his defense and began sending the actor threatening messages, as per screenshots taken by Buzzfeed.

Then in 2014, Bell went on the offense against the Canadian singer after he accused of egging a neighbor's house. The actor penned in a since-deleted tweet (via E! News) "@justinbieber instead of egging speeding around your neighborhood and defacing property like a little sh*t you should practice your guitar!!" He even posted a photo of Bieber spray-painting a wall, saying, "his art is almost as bad as his music," according to MTV.

Drake Bell dissed Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga

In a 2014 interview with Buzzfeed, Drake Bell shaded Ariana Grande, claiming "there's just a lot of really young, entitled people" in the entertainment industry. "I don't think a lot of these young people have to work very hard," the former child star told the website. "They're found on YouTube and, boom, thrown into the studio so they think they can get anything they want. Ariana Grande is a billionaire before she's been an artist. You have to work to be able to appreciate what you have, and what work did she ever have to do in her life?"

He also accused the pop stars, including Lady Gaga, of perpetuating a toxic fanbase culture. "If I catch one of my fans saying something improper, a gay slur or any derogatory term, I instantly tweet directly at them and say, 'This isn't how we do it,'" Bell said. "I don't understand it. And what's worse is artists like Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber don't come out and say, 'I love having you as my fans, but you shouldn't be acting this way.' They just eat it all up, and I think it's repulsive." 

He also alleged, "Ariana Grande's fans told Perez Hilton [gossip blogger] that he and his son needed to die and get cancer, and she just fed it. It's disgusting."

Drake Bell shamed a crowd of concert-goers

In 2017, Drake Bell reportedly had a major public meltdown on stage during a concert with his band at the Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte, N.C. According to TMZ, Bell opened his set with songs from his new album instead of his old hits, which made the crowd restless. The outlet noted that some members of the audience had raided a nearby ball pit and started firing balls onstage. It resulted in the singer picking up one of the balls and forcefully throwing it back at the crowd before stopping the concert midway through the Drake & Josh theme song to address their behavior.

"Stop the music right now!" Bell yelled. "Who the hell is throwing these things up on the stage, man? Stop it! It doesn't make you cool, man." He then threatened to end the concert early if they didn't behave accordingly. "We're trying to perform a show for you guys, you guys are throwing stuff at us. If you want us to go, we'll go. You're spoiling it for everybody, man," he told the crowd of high schoolers.

Although Bell's behavior was a little much here, it sounds like both sides were in the wrong.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit RAINN.org for additional resources.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224. You can also find more information, resources, and support at www.thehotline.org.