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Melanie Martinez, a singer and songwriter who was a finalist on the season 3 of The Voice, responded Tuesday to a former friend who said Martinez molested and raped her.
Timothy Heller, an aspiring musician, posted a detailed account on Twitter of the night she says she was sexually assaulted. Heller said she “repeatedly said no” to Martinez’s sexual advances and that the singer continued anyway.
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
“I have kept this secret for years, convincing myself that it wasn’t a big deal and I wasn’t hurt by it,” Heller wrote. “The thought of accepting that my best friend raped me seems insane. But I began to get responses I wasn’t expecting. Concerned ones.”
Heller said Martinez took her in during her “rock bottom,” and the two grew very close, but Martinez took then took advantage of “her power and control.”
“The power she had over me, grew into me having a very hard time saying no to her,” Heller wrote. “I would do almost anything for her.”
Heller said the night of the incident, Martinez first convinced her to smoke weed, and then continued to touch, perform oral sex, and use a sex toy without Heller’s consent.
“The bottom line that I need to always remind myself is that: I said no. For two nights straight,” Heller wrote. “It doesn’t matter that I didn’t resist during the action. I had been broken down. She knew I didn’t want to, I made that clear. I didn’t scream at her; I didn’t force her off of me. 1) because I loved her. 2) because I just wanted it to all be over.”
Martinez tweeted a response early Tuesday morning, denying Heller’s claims that she ever “said no.”
“I am horrified and saddened by the statements and the story told tonight by Timothy Heller,” Martinez wrote. “What she and I shared was a close friendship for a period of time… She never said no to what we chose to do together.”
Kris Seavers is the Evening Editor for the Daily Dot, where she covers breaking news, politics, and LGBTQ issues. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.