UPDATED: Singer Melanie Martinez, who rose to fame competing on season three of NBC’s “The Voice,” has been accused by a former friend of sexual assault. The alleged incident was detailed by Timothy Heller, herself an aspiring musician, who, in a four-part tweet, recounted a night during which she “repeatedly said no” to Martinez’s sexual advances. Heller accuses Martinez of forceful penetration with a sex toy, among other acts.
The Los Angeles-based Heller posted the tweet just before 3 p.m. local time. Within eight hours, it was retweeted more than 50,000 times.
Martinez and Heller appear to have a friendship that dates back to 2015, judging by images on social media platforms.
At 11:30 p.m. Martinez posted a response on her own Twitter, writing, “I am horrified and saddened by the statements and story told by Timothy Heller. What she and I shared was a close friendship … We tried to help each other. We both had pain in dealing with our individual demons… She never said no to what we chose to do together. And although we parted ways, I am sending her love and light always.”
She released a second statement via Twitter the following Sunday, about a week after the allegation, expressing thanks for her fans who have stood by her. “I understand how hard it could be to see my side of the story, considering no one with a heart would want to invalidate anyone speaking up about this topic,” the statement reads. “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. I trusted so many people in my life who took advantage of that trust for their own personal gain. 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.”
Read Heller’s original post and Martinez’s responses below: