Singer and The Voice alumna Melanie Martinez has denied claims of sexual assault put forth by her former friend, saying she is “horrified and saddened” by the accusations.
In a lengthy story shared to Twitter on Monday, Timothy Heller accused Martinez, 22, of getting her high on marijuana before forcefully performing oral sex and using a sex toy on her. Heller also said she repeatedly refused Martinez’s propositions over the course of a two-night “sleepover,” using excuses such as that her boyfriend would be mad or that she was tired.
“I never said yes. I said no, repeatedly,” Heller wrote. “But she used her power over me, and broke me down. Just so there is no confusion, I was molested by my best friend.”
Heller stated that she was coming forward with her story in the wake of numerous sexual misconduct allegations gripping Hollywood in recent months.
“The only reason I do this now is because I’m hoping because of recent events, people will believe me,” she wrote. “Girls can rape girls. Best friends can rape best friends. Friendship doesn’t equal consent. Silence doesn’t equal consent.”
When I wrote this story about my assault, I initially wasn’t going to make the abuser. But I think it’s important for you all to know this is about Melanie Martinez pic.twitter.com/4PQ5oNI2s9
— Timothy Heller (@timethyheller) December 4, 2017
Martinez, who competed on Team Adam Levine in season 3 of The Voice, responded to the allegations in a tweet of her own, claiming the acts were consensual.
“I am horrified and saddened by the statements and story told tonight by Timothy Heller,” the singer said. “What she and I shared was a close friendship for a period of time. We came into each other’s lives as we were both starting our careers as artists, and we tried to help each other. We both had pain in dealing with our individual demons and the new paths we were forging, but I truly felt we were trying to lift each other up. She never said no to what we chose to do together. And although we parted ways, I am sending her love and light always.”
Neither Heller nor representatives for Martinez were immediately available for further comment.
— CRYBABY (@MelanieLBBH) December 5, 2017
Martinez released her debut solo album, Cry Baby, in August 2015. The album debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 album chart and was certified platinum in February 2017.