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Drake Bell Denies Abuse Allegations From Ex-Girlfriend Melissa Lingafelt

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  • Melissa Lingafelt, a singer who now goes by Jimi Ono, posted a TikTok claiming that she was physically and verbally abused by her former boyfriend, actor Drake Bell, who she dated between 2006 and 2009. She was 16 when they began dating and he was 20.
  • After her post went viral, others sent her messages accusing Bell of having sex with minors and claiming to have known about her abuse. One person said Bell raped her when she was in 8th grade. 
  • Two women who had serious relationships with him also sent her words of support and claimed they experience similar abuse.
  • Bell denied Ono’s allegations, adding that he is reviewing his legal option and questioning whether Ono is lying for some other reason because she reached out to him for financial support last year, which he says he gave.  

Abuse Allegations Go Viral 

Actor Drake Bell is facing some serious abuse allegations from a former girlfriend who shared her alleged experiences with him in a now-viral TikTok. 

Bell reported started dating a woman by the name of Melissa Lingafelt in 2006 when she was 16 and he would have been 20. That woman, a musician who now goes by Jimi Ono, first hinted at issues with Bell as part of a recent TikTok trend. Earlier this week, she posted a video featuring the song “Bulletproof” by La Roux with text that read: “Think you can hurt my feelings? I lived with and dated an alcoholic, abusive Drake Bell from 16-19.” 

On Wednesday, she expanded on those claims with another post, starting off by saying she doesn’t care if anyone believes her because this is her story. 

Then she said: “It wasn’t until recently that I actually realized 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.I don’t event want to get into the underage girls thing. I mean I will, but I’m scared.”

@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

That video quickly spread throughout the app and was shared across other platforms as well. Eventually, Ono posted a statement to her Instagram story, saying that anyone who has been a friend of hers over the last 15 years knows about what she experienced.

She added, “Nobody wants attention from abuse!!!!!!! I hope this gives girls the strength to come out about their experiences with him, because I know for a fact he has hundreds of victims.” 

@jimi_ono

Other Alleged Victims Speak Out 

In the hours that followed her initial claims, Ono posted several other TikTok’s with screenshots of texts and direct messages she has received. Some of these posts were also shared on her Twitter and Instagram story. 

Screenshots of TikTok posts including messages sent to @jimiono

The first showed someone saying they remember her telling them about the abuse, writing, “I remember the pics. I remember the physical fights. I remember him throwing you in a bathtub and scalding you with water. I remember him breaking all your antiques and I also remember calling the cops on him and having to stay at Molly’s house until shit fizzled over.”

Other posts show responses to her Instagram story, where some accused Bell of sleeping with minors. One individual even claimed that Bell raped her when she was in the 8th grade, while another wrote, “I remember you speaking to my friend on the phone after it happened and you told her he chocked you and spit in your face. That was in 2006.” 

On top of that, Ono also shared direct messages from Bell’s ex-girlfriend of five years, Paydin Layne LoPachin. In those messages, LoPachin shared support and said, “I went through the same horrific verbal, physical, and mental abuse.” She also agreed with Ono’s claim that he had sex with “hundreds of underage girls.”

Finally, Ono shared a message from Gillian Leos, who also allegedly had a serious relationship with Bell. In that post, Leos says she dated Bell from 2001-2005/2006. She explained that she wished she had more proof for what she experienced, saying she has some photos but no voicemails or texts because “he broke every phone I had back then.”

“Like you I have many friends & witnesses to attest what he put me through,” she added. 

Drake Bell Denies Allegations 

Bell, for his part, has denied Ono’s allegations. In a statement to Variety, he said, “I never abused my ex-girlfriend or did so many of the other things Melissa falsely claimed on her Tik Tok video,”

“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.” 

He has not addressed any of the other allegations against him. 

Ono Clears Up Rumors 

Even after Bell’s response, Ono has continued to be vocal about her experience. She’s also been responding to users online in an effort to shut down rumors that she is not the same person shown in the photos that were in the TikTok.

In response to one user, she said, “The photos were taken of me 14 years ago. I had a little lip filler, and that’s that on that.” 

She also clarified the name discrepancies people were seeing, saying Mellisa Lingafelt was her legal name. “I actually started going by Melissa Baldwin when dating drake. Baldwin is my mother’s maiden name and I was having problems with family at home.”

“I started going by my nickname, Jimi, (my grandfathers name) after breaking up with drake. I don’t like being called my legal name. I wanted seperaation from that time in my life.”

In other replies, she mentioned that she did go to the police, but did not explain when. 

She believes has more underage victims and said she now has other alleged victims who have agreed to stand by her in court. 

She hinted at legal action once more writing, “Everyone that has made accusations, including myself, ALL have witness accounts and evidence. Justice will be served!”

See what others are saying: (Variety) (Fox News) (PEOPLE)

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Says Trump Ban Was the “Right Decision” But Sets “Dangerous” Precedent

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  • While defending Twitter’s decision to permanently ban President Donald Trump, CEO Jack Dorsey noted the “dangerous” precedent such a move set.
  • “Having to take these actions fragment the public conversation,” Dorsey said in a lengthy Twitter thread on Wednesday. “They divide us. They limit the potential for clarification, redemption, and learning.”
  • Dorsey’s message came the same day Twitter fully reinstated Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-Co.) account, hours after locking it for violating Twitter rules. A Twitter spokesperson later described the lock as an “incorrect enforcement action.”

Dorsey Describes Trump Ban as a Double-Edged Sword

In a lengthy Twitter thread published Wednesday, CEO Jack Dorsey defended his platform’s decision to permanently ban President Donald Trump, while also noting the “dangerous” precedent such a unilateral move sets.

Twitter made the decision to ban Trump on Jan. 8, two days after pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol complex in an assault that left multiple dead.

“I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban [Trump] from Twitter, or how we got here,” Dorsey said in the first of 13 tweets. 

Nonetheless, Dorsey described Trump’s ban as “the right decision for Twitter.”

“Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all,” he added.

“That said, having to ban an account has real and significant ramifications,” Dorsey continued.

“[It] sets a precedent I feel is dangerous: the power an individual or corporation has over a part of the global public conversation.”

Dorsey described most bans as a failure of Twitter to “promote healthy conversation,” though he noted that exceptions to such a mindset also exist. Among other failures, Dorsey said extreme actions like a ban can “fragment public conversation,” divide people, and limit “clarification, redemption, and learning.”

Dorsey: Trump Bans Were Not Coordinated

Dorsey continued his thread by addressing claims and criticism that Trump’s ban on Twitter violated free speech.

“A company making a business decision to moderate itself is different from a government removing access, yet can feel much the same,” he said.

Indeed, multiple legal experts have stated that Trump’s ban on social media does not amount to First Amendment violations, as the First Amendment only addresses government censorship. 

“If folks do not agree with our rules and enforcement, they can simply go to another internet service,” Dorsey added. However, Dorsey noted that such a concept has been challenged over the past week. 

Trump has now been banned or suspended from a number of platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. On Wednesday, Snapchat announced plans to terminate Trump’s account in the “interest of public safety.” Previously, Snapchat had only suspended his account, but as of Jan. 20, it will be permanently banned. 

Addressing criticism of the swift bans handed down by these platforms in the wake of the Capitol attack, Dorsey said he doesn’t believe Trump’s bans on social media were coordinated.

“More likely: companies came to their own conclusions or were emboldened by the actions of others,” he said.

Twitter Reverses Course of Locking Rep. Lauren Boebert’s Account

Dorsey’s thread regarding the fragile nature of regulating users’ privileges on the platform seemed to play out earlier the same day.

On Wednesday, newly-elected Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Co.) posted a screenshot to Instagram showing that her Twitter account had been locked for six days. The screenshot stated that she had violated Twitter’s rules and would be unable to tweet, retweet, or like until her account was unlocked. 

Hours later, Twitter reversed course and fully reinstated her account. 

“In this instance, our teams took the incorrect enforcement action. The Tweet in question is now labeled in accordance with our Civic Integrity Policy. The Tweet will not be required to be removed and the account will not be temporarily locked,” a spokesperson for the platform told Insider.

It is unknown what tweet caused that initial ban, as Twitter refused to say. 

The latest tweet from Boebert’s account to be tagged with a fact check warning is from Sunday. In that tweet, she baselessly and falsely accuses the DNC of rigging the 2020 Election, a claim that largely inspired the Capitol attacks. 

See what others are saying: (Business Insider) (CNN) (Associated Press)

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Uber and Lyft Drivers Sue To Overturn California’s Prop 22

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  • A group of Uber and Lyft drivers filed a lawsuit Tuesday against California’s controversial Prop 22, a ballot measure that was approved by nearly 59% of state voters in the 2020 election. 
  • While Prop 22 does promise drivers wage guarantees and health insurance stipends, it also eliminated some protections as well as benefits like sick pay and workers’ compensation.
  • In their lawsuit, the drivers argue that Prop 22 “illegally” prevents them from being able to access the state’s workers’ compensation program. 

What’s in the Lawsuit?

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, a group of Uber and Lyft drivers asked California’s Supreme Court to overturn the state’s controversial Prop 22 ballot measure.

The drivers behind the lawsuit, along with Service Employees International Union, allege that Prop 22 “illegally” bars them from being able to participate in the state’s workers’ compensation program. 

Additionally, they argue that the measure violates California’s constitution by“stripping” the state legislature of its ability to protect who unionize. 

“Every day, rideshare drivers like me struggle to make ends meet because companies like Uber and Lyft prioritize corporate profits over our wellbeing,” Plaintiff Saori Okawa said in a statement. 

Conversely, Uber driver and Prop 22 activist Jim Pyatt denounced the lawsuit, saying,“Voters across the political spectrum spoke loud and clear, passing Prop 22 in a landslide. Meritless lawsuits that seek to undermine the clear democratic will of the people do not stand up to scrutiny in the courts.”

California ballot measures have been occasionally repealed in the past; however, most of the time, they’ve only been repealed following subsequent ballot measures. If this lawsuit fails, such an initiative would likely be the last option for overturning Prop 22.

What is Prop 22?

Prop 22, which was approved by 59% of state voters in the 2020 Election, exempts app-based transportation and delivery companies from having to classify their drivers as employees. Rather, those drivers are listed as “independent contractors,” also known as gig workers. 

Notably, Prop 22 was supported by major industry players like DoorDash, Uber, Lyft, and Instacart, which launched a massive $200 million lobbying and advertising campaign.

While those companies did promise wage guarantees and health insurance stipends for drivers, Prop 22 also eliminated a number of protections and benefits drivers would have seen under an “employee” status, including sick pay and workers’ compensation. 

Because of that, many opponents have argued that the measure incentivizes companies to lay off their employees in favor of cheaper labor options.

Last week, it was reported that grocery stores like Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions began laying off their delivery workers in favor of switching to ”third-party logistics providers.” According to Albertson’s, unionized delivery workers were not included in the layoffs. 

In recent coverage from KPBS, one San Diego Vons delivery worker detailed a situation in which he and delivery workers were called into a meeting with management. 

“I thought they were going to give us a bonus or a raise or something like that,” he said. 

Ultimately, that employee was told he would be losing his job in late February, even though he had been with the company for two-and-a-half years. 

“I didn’t want to tell them,” the employee said of his parents, one of whom is disabled. “I’m the breadwinner for the family.”

See what others are saying: (The Verge) (The Washington Post) (CNN)

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Daniel Silva Blames Cory La Barrie for His Own Death in New Legal Filing

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  • Popular Tattoo artist Daniel Silva said the death of YouTuber Cory La Barrie was due to La Barrie’s “own negligence,” in response to a wrongful death lawsuit from his family.
  • La Barrie died last May after Silva lost control of the sports car they were in, crashing into a street sign and tree. 
  • La Barrie’s family has accused Silva of negligence, saying his excessive speeding caused the crash. They also claim he was under the influence, though he was never formally charged with a DUI. 
  • According to TMZ, Silva filed documents saying La Barrie “assumed the risk of death when he jumped into Daniel’s car that fateful night back in May.”

Corey La Barrie’s Death

Popular tattoo artist Daniel Silva has blamed YouTuber Corey La Barrie for his own death in response to a wrongful death lawsuit from La Barrie’s family, according to TMZ.

The tabloid says he filed legal documents saying, “the car crash that led to Corey’s death was due to his own negligence, and he assumed the risk of death when he jumped into Daniel’s car that fateful night back in May.”

La Barrie died on May 10, his 25th birthday, after Silva was speeding and lost control of the sports car they were in, crashing into a street sign and tree.

Police say Silva tried to leave the scene but was stopped by witnesses. He was later arrested and charged with murder. Silva eventually reached an agreement with prosecutors to plead no contest to vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

In August, Silva was sentenced to 364 days in jail, with credit for 216 days served because of California sentencing guidelines, even though it had only been 108 days since the crash at the time.

He also earned five years of probation, 250 hours of community service, and a suspended prison sentence of four years, which would be imposed if he violates the terms of his probation.

Wrongful Death Suit

Silva still faces the family’s lawsuit, which they filed the same month their son died.

In it, La Barrie’s family has accused Silva of negligence, saying his excessive speeding caused the crash. They also claim he was driving under the influence.

It’s worth noting that people close to Silva have disputed that claim and he was never charged with a DUI. However, the first police statement about the crash labeled it aDUI Fatal Traffic Collision.” Witnesses have said the two were partying earlier that night, though

See what others are saying: (TMZ) (USA Today) (Variety)

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