Drake Bell's Troubled Post-Nickelodeon Life

Drake Bell of ‘Drake and Josh’ is facing charges for disseminating matter harmful to children. Here’s more on the accusations & the actor’s post-Nickelodeon tro

Josh Bell Missing Timeline

Image via Getty

Josh Bell Missing Timeline

Drake Bell’s future seemed so promising when he was on Nickelodeon, and then things went left. The charismatic and hilarious actor made a name for himself on the network’s hit shows like The Amanda Show and Drake & Josh. Although he seemed to have limitless potential, his acting career seemed to hit a pause after his Nickelodeon days, and he focused his energy on doing voiceovers for animated shows and his singing career. Instead of the illustrious Hollywood movie star career fans thought he could have had, Bell has instead been making headlines due to his personal life through the years. 

Since his time as a child star, Bell has dealt with everything from DUIs to financial troubles to abuse allegations, and most recently, he was arrested for crimes against children. The actor confused fans with a re-brand and a sudden move to Mexico, and nearly a year later he has been arrested and charged with attempted child endangerment, after having inappropriate conversations with a minor. In 2023, the Daytona Beach Police Department shared a statement saying that the actor had gone missing.

He was one of the most recognized faces on Nickelodeon and his scandals have since cast a huge shadow on his career. Check out some of the most troubling moments from Drake Bell’s life post-Nickelodeon.

Drake Bell filed for bankruptcy

Drake Bell

Date: Sept. 2016

The former child star was sentenced to 96 hours in jail for his second DUI conviction. E! News confirmed that he served one day of the four-day sentence ahead of Labor Day weekend and was released. The Nickelodeon star took a plea deal following a misdemeanor charge for a DUI from his December 2015 arrest. He was also sentenced to four years probation. He was taken into custody in Glendale, California in December 2015 on suspicion of driving under the influence. The Los Angeles Times reported that Bell was stopped by police around 2:20 a.m. after he was seen “swerving and speeding,” and the police officer said he smelled alcohol coming from the car. California state law states that a second DUI conviction within 10 years results in a minimum sentence of four days in county jail. Prior to his 2015 arrest, Bell was also convicted in 2010 for a 2009 DUI arrest in San Diego. 

Bell’s former girlfriend Melissa Lingafelt accused him of abuse

View this video on YouTube


Date: Aug. 12, 2020

In August 2020, Melissa Lingafelt (who goes by her stage name, Jimi Ono) claimed in a TikTok video that The Amanda Show star verbally and physically abused her when they were in a relationship. The couple dated between 2006 and 2009. Lingafelt said she started dating Bell when she was 16 years old and he was 20, and that she moved in with him at that age. She alleged in the video that verbal abuse began about a year into their relationship, and it later escalated into physical abuse. “Think you can hurt my feelings? I lived with and dated an alcoholic, abusive Drake Bell from 16-19,” she shared in a now-deleted TikTok. “First off I’d like to start out by saying I don’t really care if anyone believes me, as this is my story and my life and something that I went through,” she said in a follow-up clip. “It wasn’t until recently that I actually realized that abuse isn’t something that all women have to go through.”

“When I started dating Drake, I was 16. I was homeschooled. I moved in with him,” Lingafelt said. “It wasn’t until about a year when the verbal abuse started.” She added that the verbal abuse she endured was “the worst type of verbal abuse you could ever imagine” and that “it then turned to physical—hitting, throwing, everything.” 

 “At the pinnacle of it, he drug [sic] me down the stairs of our house on Los Feliz.” she said, adding that her face hit every step as she went down. Lingafelt said that she had photos of her injuries, as well as witnesses who could support her claims. “I don’t even want to get into the underage girls thing, I mean I will, but I’m scared,” she said at the end of the clip.

Bell denied the abuse allegations

Drake Bell Abuse

Bell’s ex Paydin Layne supports Lingafelt’s claims

Drake Bell of Drake and Josh Charged With Endangering Children

Date: Aug. 13, 2020

Paydin Layne, who appeared on The O.C. and dated Bell from 2011 to 2016 reportedly sent Lingafelt a direct message to show her support and also said she endured abuse during her five-year relationship with the actor. In the screengrabs from the messages Lingafelt shared, Layne wrote: “Hey Melissa. This is Paydin. I was Drake’s girlfriend for 5 years after you. I will stand by your side and back you up as I went through the same horrific verbal, physical and mental abuse.”


Lingafelt shared a photograph as proof of the alleged abuse

Drake Bell Ex Girlfriend Melissa

Date: Aug. 30, 2020

Weeks after the initial post, Lingafelt made another TikTok video to share an image of what she says was the aftermath of one of the instances where she claims Bell was abusive toward her. “After much thought and multiple requests for photographic evidence, I have decided to share just one of the photos I have of the abuse I endured from Drake,” she wrote in the message. “This was taken in 2008, a few months after turning 18. This was nearing the end of the relationship, the physical abuse was happening almost every other week, with the verbal abuse almost daily.” She shared a photo that appears to show a scar and bruise on her chin, and in the comments for the post, she said her left eye was also swollen in the photo. Lingafelt shared a police report she said she filed in December 2009 and journal entries from the times she said he had abused her.

She also shared direct messages from other women who shared their own experiences with the actor, with some of them claiming they were underage during their interactions with him. Lingafelt also included a video of Twitter thread from a woman claiming the actor asked her for nudes when she was underage.

Drake Bell changes his name to Drake Campana, moves to Mexico

Date: Nov. 2020

Bell appeared to rebrand as a Spanish-language singer, even going as far as changing his name to Drake Campana, (campana is the Spanish word for “bell.”) In 2018, he released his first Spanish-language song “Fuego Lento,” followed by a fully Spanish-language album in 2020, and his songs in Spanish seemed to be some of his most popular on Spotify. He had been open about his appreciation for his Latin American fans, and his desire to show them love by singing in their language. Then in November 2020, he changed his last name on social media to “Campana.” Prior to that, in November 2019, Bell tweeted that his social-media pages would only be in Spanish only moving forward, and shared a Mexican ID that said his new name, hinting that he had relocated there. While some found the move humorous, other fans wondered if his rebrand had anything to do with the abuse allegations made by his ex-girlfriend that August.

mis redes sociales ahora solo estarán en español, no más inglés

— DrakeBell.ethᵍᵐ (@DrakeBell) November 17, 2019


The actor was arrested and charged with crimes against children

Drake Bell Arrested

Both of his exes reacted to the arrest

Drake Bell Paydin Layne

Date: June 4, 2021

Both Melissa Lingafelt and Paydin Layne reacted to the news of their ex-boyfriend’s arrest on social media. Lingafelt posted a new TikTok to share the news. “Gonn’ act like I didn’t tell you guys,” she captioned a video of her in front of the news articles of her ex’s arrest. “Too bad him having a kid to clean up his image ain’t work.” Layne took to her Instagram Stories for a more lowkey reaction, writing, “So many ‘I told you so’ moments happening this week! Right @jimi_ono,” tagging Lingafelt’s Instagram page.

Bell pleaded guilty

Drake Bell Guilty

Bell received a two-year probation

Drake Bell probation

Bell addresses child endangerment charges

Drake Bell Missing

Bell was reported missing by police

Drake Bell Missing

Date: April 13, 2023

Bell was found safe after initially being reported as “missing and endangered” by police on April 13, 2023. In a news release, the Daytona Beach Police Department said Bell was “considered missing and endangered” after last being seen in the area the day prior. According to police, the actor was driving a 2022 grey BMW at the time. In a statement to Complex that day, a spokesperson for the Daytona Beach Police Department offered the following update: “At this time we can confirm law enforcement officials are in contact and Mr. Bell is safe.” Additional information was not shared.

Bell took to Twitter later in the day to send a message to fans confirming he was safe. He laughed at the ordeal, writing: “You leave your phone in the car and don’t answer for the night and this?” with a laughing emoji. 

Latest in Pop Culture