Singer Melanie Martinez, a season 6 contestant on The Voice and fan favorite on Team Adam Levine, has been accused by her former best friend Timothy Heller of sexual assault during a sleepover during their intense friendship, according to HuffPost.
“The power she had over me, grew into me having a very hard time saying no to her,” Heller wrote on Twitter. “I would do almost anything for her.”
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
“One night during a sleepover, she became increasingly interested in my sexual preferences. As someone who had previously been through sexual abuse, sex is hard for me to talk about,” Heller wrote. “I was obviously uncomfortable, but she was my best friend, so I tried to be open about it.”
She went on to discuss what she referred to as the codependent nature of their friendship. “This was my best friend. She took me in, which I was so grateful for. I felt like I owed her my life,” Heller wrote. “I had my own problems, but if I could focus on her life, I could put off dealing with my own inner turmoil for just a bit longer.”
Heller, a musician whose band Dresses performed with Martinez in 2014, wrote that over the course of two days that the young women spent together on that particular occasion, Martinez continually pressured her for sex until her defenses were decimated. Heller accused Martinez of performing oral sex on her and of penetrating her with a sex toy.
“I never said yes. I said no, repeatedly,” Heller detailed on Twitter. “But she used her power over me and broke me down. Just so there is no confusion, I was molested by my best friend.”
Martinez has responded to the allegations on social media, writing that she was “horrified and saddened” by Heller’s accusations.
“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,” Martinez wrote on Twitter. “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.”
— CRYBABY (@MelanieLBBH) December 5, 2017
Heller initially wrote that she hadn’t planned to name her abuser but that she thought it was important to be open about it.
“The only reason I do this now is because I’m hoping because of recent events, people will believe me,” Heller wrote. “Friendship does not equal consent. Silence doesn’t equal consent. I wish it wasn’t so hard for me to convince myself of these things.”