We’ve got bad news for anyone hoping for a Drake & Josh reboot. It’s been a weird past couple of years for former child star Drake Bell, and things have definitely been taken to another level recently.
Bell was arrested in Cleveland in June 2021 and charged with a fourth-degree felony and a first-degree misdemeanor. The controversy has had people asking: What did Drake Bell do? Furthermore, what has stemmed from his arrest? Here’s what we know.
What did Drake Bell do?
According to TMZ, Bell was charged with “attempted endangering children" and "disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.” Bell appeared in Cuyahoga County court on Thursday, June 3, 2021.
He initially pleaded not guilty, but on Wednesday, June 23, Bell changed his tune. He pleaded guilty to child endangerment charges relating to a girl he met online in 2017 who had attended one of his concerts when she was just 15 years old. The former Nickelodeon star's sentencing was scheduled for July 12.
Since the incident leading to Bell’s arrest involved a minor, details about what actually happened are not readily available. That being said, Fox 8 News reports that Bell allegedly “engaged in an inappropriate chat with the victim that, at times, was sexual in nature.” The outlet also states that the alleged victim filed a report with her local police department in Canada back in 2018 regarding the incident.
Following the initial report, Canadian authorities contacted Cleveland police, who conducted an investigation into the allegations. That investigation reportedly found that the victim had established a relationship with Bell “several years prior,” per Fox 8 News, and had then attended Bell’s concert in Cleveland.
The star was sentenced to two years of probation for crimes against a child.
Bell was sentenced to two years of probation alongside 200 hours of community service, per Variety. News of this development first broke on July 12, 2021.
He initially faced up to two years in prison.
This isn’t the first time Drake Bell has been in hot water.
Drake was also arrested in December of 2015 for driving under the influence in Glendale, Calif. He was eventually sentenced to four days in jail (only one of which he actually served) and four years of probation. Prior to that arrest, he was also charged with driving under the influence in 2010.
In addition to his DUI charges, Bell has also faced allegations of verbal and physical abuse. His ex-girlfriend Melissa Lingafelt (who is also known as Jimi Ono) alleged that Bell became abusive shortly after she moved in with him more than a decade ago.
“I started dating Drake when I was 16. I was homeschooled, I moved in with him. I was singing. It wasn't until about a year [later] when the verbal abuse started, and when I say verbal abuse, imagine the worst type of verbal abuse you could imagine and that's what I got,” she said in an August 2020 TikTok video (which has since been listed as “private”).
The two reportedly dated for about two years, starting in 2006.
“The verbal abuse then turned to physical,” Melissa continued in her video. “Hitting, throwing. Everything. At the pinnacle of it, he [dragged] me down the stairs in our house in Los Feliz. My face hit every step on the way down. I have photos of this."
Melissa also went on to hint that Bell had other inappropriate relationships with underage girls. "I don't even want to get into the underaged girls thing. I mean, I will. But I'm scared," she said.
If you need support, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or visit RAINN.org to chat online one-on-one with a support specialist at any time.