In 1989, Malone was also sued over the paternity of twins Daryl and Cheryl Ford, also of Summerfield, Louisiana. Similarly to the case with Bell, the Ford twins' case was ultimately settled out of court and without Malone offering confirmation that he was the twins' Father. In 1998, after knowledge of the two paternity suits became public, Malone did acknowledge his paternity of the Ford twins, and he has since maintained an active relationship with them Despite the ongoing estrangement between Bell and Malone, Bell has reported that he is very close to the Ford twins, who acknowledge him as their brother.
Karl Malone has never offered public confirmation that he is the Father of Demetress Bell. However, laboratory blood tests prepared for the Bell family's 1996 paternity lawsuit against Malone reportedly pointed to an over 99 percent probability that Bell's Father was either Malone or a brother of Malone. Malone initially refused to respond to the lawsuit, but eventually reached an out-of-court settlement with the Bell family over the issue. The Bells received a single lump sum payment of a confidential amount, with no on-going child support for Demetress. In speaking later about the settlement, Malone's attorney asserted that it had not included an official court determination of paternity, and noted that Malone "had a lot of brothers".
As a young teenager, Bell played more softball than he did Malone's sport of basketball. He did not play organized football at all during that time. Eventually, during high school, he took up basketball and played well enough to receive a scholarship to Northwestern State University, where he played in 88 games over the course of the 2003–04, 2004–05, and 2006–07 seasons. Bell was one of only four NCAA athletes to play both basketball and football in Division I in 2007. After the 2006–07 season, he decided to give up basketball to concentrate on his development in football.
Bell's high school had not fielded a football team, so prior to his attending Northwestern State, he had never played organized football. In the fall of 2005, he red-shirted the basketball season and began playing for the school's football team. He was initially placed in the position of defensive end. The following year, injuries struck the team's offensive line, and he was moved to the left tackle position. He earned second-team All-Louisiana honors that season.
Bell made a bigger name for himself in his senior season of 2007, having focused solely on football. Remaining on the offensive line, he was named an All-Louisiana and an All-Southland Conference first-teamer. He also became an Associated Press All-American.
In 2008, The Buffalo News published a story about Demetress Bell that included the claim that he didn't know who his Father was until after he graduated from high school. However, in a 1998 article in The Salt Lake Tribune, when Bell was 14 years old, his mother spoke of his shying away from anything to do with Malone because his feelings were hurt by Malone's refusal to acknowledge him.
In 2009, citing the quality of Bell's performance in the Bills' off-season and pre-season training camps that year, then-Bills head coach Dick Jauron installed Bell as the team's starting left tackle for the 2009 regular season. After earning mixed reviews over the first half of the campaign, including an extremely high number of penalties against him, Bell's year came to a disappointing conclusion when he suffered what would prove to be a season-ending knee injury in a Week 10 game against the Tennessee Titans.
On April 4, 2012, the Philadelphia Eagles signed Bell to a contract that could be worth up to $34.5 million over five years. On February 6, 2013, Bell was released from his contract.
Although Malone was 20 years old at the time that the 13-year-old Gloria Bell was impregnated, she said that her family chose not to pursue Criminal charges against Malone over the relationship. According to Bell, with Malone being a neighbor — Summerfield's population is only a few hundred — her family did not wish to see him jailed, especially since he would then be unable to provide any support for Demetress at all.