Almost one month after he was arrested, Drake Bell has plead guilty to child endangerment and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles during a hearing on Wednesday, June 23. For those who missed it, the Drake & Josh alum was charged earlier this month over an alleged incident that took place on December 1, 2017 — the same day he was scheduled to perform at a venue in Cleveland. According to People Magazine, he was “engaging in an inappropriate chat with a 15-year-old girl that was at times sexual in nature.”
What Went Down At The Hearing?
The outlet reported that although Bell originally plead not-guilty, he has since agreed to a plea agreement.
“My understanding is there’s been a plea agreement reached where the defendant will plead guilty to count one attempted endangering children, a felony in the fourth degree [and] plead guilty to count two: disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, a misdemeanor the first degree,” the judge said during the hearing, adding that attempted endangering children carries a sentence of anywhere from six to 18 months in prison in monthly increments and/or a fine of up to $5,000, though prison time is not mandatory. The second charge carries up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
He continued, “However, if you go to prison, upon your release, you could be subjected to a discretionary period of three years post-release control. Post-release control could involve restrictions on your activities. If you were to violate those restrictions, you can be returned to prison, [for] up to a maximum of one half of your original sentence.”
The former Nickelodeon star’s sentencing hearing is set for July 12, 2021.
“All questions about this case will be answered at sentencing, including why Mr. Bell chose to enter his plea,” his lawyer, Ian Friedman, told the magazine.
Who Even Is Drake Bell?
For those who don’t know, Bell is most known for his roles in The Amanda Show and Drake & Josh. After those ended, he continued to act, landing roles in Superhero Movie, College, The Fish Tank, Birds of Paradise, Jungle Shuffle, some of the Fairly Odd Parents movies, Frozen in Time, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., L.A. Slasher, Ultimate Spider-Man, American Satan, Dan Is Dead, Cover Versions, Highly Gifted and others. And that’s not all. He also lent his voice to a few video games and released five studio albums of his own over the years. As for what he’s doing now, well, the actor recently started making Latin-inspired music, changed his name to Drake Campana (which means bell in Spanish) and get this — it was even rumored that he moved to Mexico. As for his love life, he’s been dating actress Janet Von for a while now, and they are as cute as could be together.
Has He Had Any Other Scandals?
Back in August 2020, Bell’s ex-girlfriend Melissa Lingafelt accused him of abusing her. She explained in a TikTok video that she and Bell started dating when she was only 16 (in 2006), and that they were together for two years.
“I moved in with him, I was singing. It wasn’t until about a year when the verbal abuse started,” she continued. “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 to physical — hitting, throwing, everything. At the pinnacle of it, he drug me down the stairs of our house on Los Feliz. My face hit every step on the way down. I have photos of this.”
The 34-year-old denied these accusations at the time, telling People, “I never abused my ex-girlfriend or did so many of the other things Melissa falsely claimed on her TikTok 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,” he added. “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.”
Has He Had Any Public Feuds?
Over the years, Bell has been very outspoken on Twitter, which has caused him to get in quite a few online fights with other celebrities. Most famously, he fought with Justin Bieber in 2013, and boy, was it intense. It all started when Bell randomly slammed the singer online — comparing him to Miley Cyrus, making fun of him for wearing makeup and even hating on his height.
“Justin Bieber is 5 foot 6 inches. Now I understand why you guys love him! He’s the same height as all you 12 year olds! I totally get it now,” he wrote in a now-deleted tweet.
But where did the animosity come from? Well, Bell didn’t explain what caused him to start hating on Bieber, but he later admitted that it was his fans he disliked — not the pop star.
“Guys get over it! I don’t ‘hate’ Justin Bieber,” Bell explained via Twitter. “His fans are the problem! I’ve never said he was gay or had no talent! It is his fans!”
Bell and his Drake & Josh costar Josh Peck even had a feud of their own when Peck didn’t invite Bell to his wedding.
“When you’re not invited to the wedding the message is clear…” Bell wrote on Twitter at the time. “True colors have come out today. Message is loud and clear. Ties are officially cut. I’ll miss you brotha.”
But not to worry, you guys, because they have since made up! They have hung out a few times since then, and they even watched old clips of their Nickelodeon show together once! How cute is that?!