Last week, pop star Melanie Martinez, who rose to prominence on The Voice, was accused of rape by her former best friend Timothy Heller. In the days since, both women have shared multiple statements disputing the details of consent, as well as the chronology of what took place.
Martinez shared a new statement last night, addressing some amateur sleuth work from her fans, who dug up old photos of Martinez and Heller in the same room after the incident, which they believe is enough to call Heller’s accusation into question. One fan questions why Heller would post a photo with Martinez a month after the alleged rape with the caption “best couple.”
“I want to thank my fans who took the time to research the timeline, analyze past Instagram photos, and question the story being told, which reveal her false statements,” Martinez wrote on Twitter last night. “Please know that my intentions with everything that I do in my life are always pure and I would never be intimate with someone without their absolute consent.”
Heller had already been forthcoming about the fact that she still spent time with Martinez following the alleged assault. She told Newsweek last week that they were friends for some time afterwards, and that Martinez never obtained “absolute consent”:
“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.”
It’s not entirely uncommon for rape victims to maintain relationships with their rapists after an assault, or to not explicitly confront them about what took place. That an alleged victim stayed friends with their attacker after the fact is never enough evidence on its own to invalidate their story.