Tuesday morning we reported that pop star Melanie Martinez, who first came to prominence on The Voice, was accused of sexual assault by her female, former best friend and fellow musician Timothy Heller. Heller posted a long note on Twitter detailing the assault and rape, alleging that Martinez coerced her into sex, performed oral sex on her, and penetrated her with a sex toy.
Martinez responded in a short Tweet, below, writing “[Heller] never said no to what we chose to do together.”
Today, in an interview with Newsweek, Heller has responded to Martinez’s statement, telling the publication that 20 minutes after her initial accusation, Martinez attempted to get in touch with her former best friend after more than a year of no communication.
“I started sobbing when I saw [Melanie] was calling me, and I blocked her,” she told Newsweek, adding that Martinez tried contacting her boyfriend, Mikey. Martinez allegedly texted him saying she had recently dreamt about Heller, inspiring her to get in touch. She also suggested that Heller see “a healer named Raven” in the text messages. “Suggesting a healer after I said I might tell my story, saying she dreamt about me, it’s condescending,” Heller told Newsweek. “What, she’s invested in my well-being all of a sudden? And it has nothing to do with that tweet?”
“Her fans see her as this angel who understands them so I assumed no one was going to take me seriously if I explained what she did. I’ve been reading all the #metoo stories, and though I’m obviously in support of the people coming forward, I wasn’t sure if my story of being assaulted fit,” she told Newsweek. “People don’t really talk about this but I know now that assault happens this way all the time. I loved her even after it happened, and I had this sick need to protect her, which I’ve learned is very common for victims of assault, especially those hurt by their family or friends.”
She revealed the night of the alleged abuse—June 25, 2015—and explained that the assault occurred after Martinez suggested they experiment with handcuffs. “I was laughing along at first but Melanie was so serious,” she said.
After the alleged assault, Martinez and Heller stayed close. “We remained friends for a while, but it was strange, obviously. I think I was invalidating my own experience for so long because she’s not a man. Plus, she was my friend, and I sat with what happened in silence because I didn’t want to be malicious,” she explained, adding, “First of all, I did say ‘no,’ multiple times. But even if I hadn’t, that doesn’t mean I wanted it. She dug her own grave saying, ‘she didn’t say no.’ That’s not consent.”
As Jezebel points out, women raping other women is more of a rarity than men raping women, but it happens. They write: “a 2010 study by the Center for Disease Control reported that one in eight lesbians, almost half of bisexual women, and one in six heterosexual women have been raped.”
We’ve reached out to Martinez and Heller for comment, and will update if and when we hear back.