- 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.”
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.”
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.
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!”
TikTok’s Bryce Hall Launches Finance Podcast
- TikToker Bryce Hall has just launched a finance podcast titled “Capital University” with entrepreneur and investor Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano.
- Pompliano will serve as a mentor figure, teaching Hall and listeners about building generational wealth, the basics of investing, and money management.
- Hall was inspired to start the project after learning from the mistakes he made with money early on in his career. In the first episode of the podcast, he was also critical of other influencers who rely on YouTube ad revenue and TikTok brand deals while overspending on lavish items.
- Some wonder if this venture will help change the public’s perception of Hall, who has developed a negative reputation for throwing massive parties during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
TikTok star and Sway House member Bryce Hall officially launched a finance podcast Tuesday where he and his fans will learn about money management.
The 21-year-old’s podcast is called “Capital University,” and he’s joined by co-host Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano, an entrepreneur and investor who has worked for companies like Facebook and Snapchat before getting into venture capital.
Pompliano is supposed to serve as a sort of mentor figure, teaching Hall and listeners about building generational wealth, the basics of investing, and other tips for ensuring financial security.
Inspiration Behind the Podcast
However, Hall will also use the podcast to talk about his personal experience with fame and wealth at a young age. He told PEOPLE magazine that the idea for the podcast stemmed from mistakes he made earlier in his career.
″I always thought money was an object,″ Hall said. ″I was spending money before I even had it.″
He also talked about going ″completely broke″ and getting hit with taxes. All of this made him realize the importance of money management, which he though his fans might also want to know about.
Though he’s admitted to making mistakes with his money, he’s definitely worked to turn things around. For instance, he recently created an energy drink company called Ani with fellow Sway House creator Josh Richards.
On top of that, in the first episode of the podcast, Hall talked about his four-month-old merch brand, Party Animal, saying it clocked in more than $1 million in its first quarter.
Criticism of Other Influencers
With this new interest in learning about finance and business, the public could be seeing a lot more from Hall soon.
At the same time though, he also caught some attention for calling out the spending habits of another TikTok star, Thoman Petrou. He’s the co-founder of the Hype House, and Hall claims that Petrou, like other influencers, is taking a shorter-term approach in his career by relying on YouTube ad revenue and TikTok brand deals.
In fact, Hall estimated that Petrou makes about $150,000 a month but says he overspends on lavish items.
“He, along with many other influencers, like to really prove that they’re making a shit ton of money,” he said in the first episode of the podcast.
“But when you spend it like an idiot, and you’re buying like McLarens, Porsches, i8s, like just cash, I look at these kids and I’m like ‘Oh my god. They’re so stupid.'”
“They don’t understand that social media, this poppin’ time that they’re in, isn’t going to last forever, and right now, when you’re at the top, this is when you’re going to be making the most money. You just got to find a way to sustain it.”
For now, it will be interesting to see the reactions to this venture, and Hall’s new interest in finance has some wondering if it could change people’s perception of him. Hall earned himself a bad reputation for repeatedly throwing massive parties during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Still, some compare his success to that of YouTube Jake Paul, who is also recognized as a businessman and entrepreneur but has continued to embroil himself in controversies.
See what others are saying: (PEOPLE) (Tubefilter)
Influencers Exposed for Posting Fake Private Jet Photos
- A viral tweet showed a studio set in Los Angeles, California that is staged to look like the inside of a private jet.
- Some influencers were called out for using that very same studio to take social media photos and videos.
- While some slammed them for faking their lifestyles online, others poked fun at the behavior and noted that this is something stars like Bow Wow have been caught doing before.
- Others have even gone so far as to buy and pose with empty designer shopping bags to pretend they went on a massive spending spree.
A tweet went viral over the weekend exposing the secret behind some influencer travel photos.
“Nahhhhh I just found out LA ig girlies are using studio sets that look like private jets for their Instagram pics,” Twitter user @maisonmelissa wrote Thursday.
“It’s crazy that anything you’re looking at could be fake. The setting, the clothes, the body… idk it just kinda of shakes my reality a bit lol,” she continued in a tweet that quickly garnered over 100,000 likes.
The post included photos of a private jet setup that’s actually a studio in California, which you can rent for $64 an hour on the site Peerspace.
As the tweet picked up attention, many began calling out influencers who they noticed have posted photos or videos in that very same studio.
Did she just caption the photo “ catching flights…”😭🤦🏽♀️ pic.twitter.com/VIjT8MJ6Qn— Tumi💦 (@mothapotumelo17) September 25, 2020
Perhaps the most notable influencers to be called out were the Mian Twins, who eventually edited their Instagram captions to admit they were on a set.
Yooo she just edited it 2 mins ago 🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/rxdy8PP8xt— Lady M (@babymamadrama65) September 25, 2020
The fact that the sister edited the caption after they got exposed lmao pic.twitter.com/H9MA3UMdBe— Jasmine. (@realjazzyyy) September 25, 2020
While a ton of people were upset about this, others pointed out that it’s not exactly that new of an idea. Even Bow Wow was once famously called out in 2017 for posting a private plane photo on social media before being spotted on a commercial flight.
Twitter users even noted other ridiculous things some people do for the gram, like buying out empty shopping bags to pretend they’ve gone on a shopping spree.
People also buy empty shopping bags online for like $20-$50 to pretend they’ve done a shopping spree.— jamila (@SrirachaMami) September 25, 2020
All for show they work hard for aesthetics pic.twitter.com/Lz8GJid5yg— 𝓜𝓲𝓵𝓴🕊🏹 (@angelmillk) September 25, 2020
Meanwhile, others poked fun at the topic, like Lil Nas X, who is never one to miss out on a viral internet moment. He photoshopped himself into the fake private jet, sarcastically writing, “thankful for it all,” in his caption.
So ultimately, it seems like the moral of this story is: don’t believe everything you see on social media.
See what others are saying: (LADBible) (Dazed Digital) (Metro UK)
South Korea’s Supreme Court Upholds Rape Case Sentences for Korean Stars Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon
- On Thursday morning, the Supreme Court in Seoul upheld the sentences of Jung Joon Young and Choi Jong Hoon for aggravated rape and related charges.
- Jung will serve five years in prison, while Choi will go to prison for two-and-a-half.
- Videos of Jung, Choi, and others raping women were found in group chats that stemmed from investigations into Seungri, of the k-pop group BigBang, as part of the Burning Sun Scandal.
- The two stars tried to claim that some of the sex was consensual, but the courts ultimately found testimony from survivors trustworthy. Courts did, however, have trouble finding victims who were willing to come forward over fears of social stigma.
Burning Sun Scandal Fall Out
South Korea’s Supreme Court upheld the rape verdicts against stars Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon on Thursday after multiple appeals by the stars and their co-defendants.
Both Jung and Choi were involved in an ever-growing scandal involving the rapes and sexual assaults of multiple women. Those crimes were filmed and distributed to chatrooms without their consent.
The entire scandal came to light in March of 2019 when Seungri from the k-pop group BigBang was embroiled in what’s now known as the Burning Sun Scandal. As part of an investigation into the scandal, police found a chatroom that featured some stars engaging in what seemed to be non-consensual sex with various women. Police found that many of the message in the Kakaotalk chatroom (the major messaging app in South Korea) from between 2015 and 2016 were sent by Jung and Choi.
A Year of Court Proceedings
Jung, Choi, and five other defendants found themselves in court in November 2019 facing charges related to filming and distributing their acts without the consent of the victims, as well as aggravated rape charges. In South Korea, this means a rape involving two or more perpetrators.
The court found them all guilty of the rape charge. Jung was sentenced to six years behind bars, while Choi and the others were sentenced to five years. Jung was given a harsher sentence because he was also found guilty of filming and distributing the videos of their acts without the victim’s consent.
During proceedings, the court had trouble getting victims to tell their stories. Many feared being shamed or judged because of the incidents and didn’t want the possibility of that information going public. Compounding the court’s problems was the fact that other victims were hard to find.
To that end, the defendants argued that the sexual acts with some of the victims were consensual, albeit this didn’t leave out the possibility that there were still victims of their crimes. However, the court found that the testimony of survivors was trustworthy and contradicted the defendant’s claims.
Jung and Choi appealed the decision, which led to more court proceedings. In May 2020, the Seoul High Court upheld their convictions but reduced their sentences to five years for Jung and two and a half years for Choi.
Choi’s sentence was reduced because the court found that he had reached a settlement with a victim.
The decision was appealed a final time to the Supreme Court. This time they argued that most of the evidence against them, notably the Kakaotalk chatroom messages and videos, were illegally obtained by police.
On Thursday morning, the Supreme Court ultimately disagreed with Jung and Choi and said their revised sentences would stand.
Jung, Choi, and the other defendants will also still have to do 80 hours of sexual violence treatment courses and are banned from working with children for five years.