A musician has accused her “former best friend,” singer Melanie Martinez of sexually assaulting her with a sex toy.
Heller said Martinez mentally and physically manipulated her and took advantage of their friendship. She did not say when the alleged sexual assault occurred. Martinez’s name was trending on Twitter as the allegations against her spread quickly on social media.
In a statement posted to Twitter late Monday, Martinez said, “I am horrified and saddened by the statements and story told tonight by Timothy Heller. 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. 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 life 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.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Martinez Is Accused of ‘Molesting’ Her Former Best Friend, Heller, Performing Oral Sex & Penetrating Her Without Consent
Timothy Heller, 24, said on Twitter that she was once “best friends” with fellow singer Melanie Martinez. Photos on Heller’s Instagram page, including the one above, show the two together and confirm that they know each other. The photos were taken in 2014 and 2015. On her Spotify page, Heller mentions that she has performed with Martinez, 22, in the past.
Heller’s tweet, featuring a series of blocks of text detailing what she says happened with Martinez, quickly went viral. You can see the tweet below:
“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. Even typing that doesn’t feel real to me. … It’s hard to say someone you loved rape you. Someone you STILL love. The thought of writing this and having the world see it terrifies me.”
Heller said Martinez took her in and she “felt like” she “owed her my life.” She said her “life began to revolve around hers. 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. Some of her fans became my fans, but their loyalty never strayed from her. They are dedicated. She’s perfect. To the public, she can do no wrong. She’s there for her fans. She gets it, she’s different.”
Heller said that during the most difficult time in her life, her “rock bottom,” Martinez’s “power and control” over her “grew and grew.”
Heller wrote, “While being open about realizing how much help I needed, I was made to feel guilty. I had to apologize for having an extreme panic attack, where I thought I was going to die. Because it ruined her night.”
She said she continued to love her through that.
“The power she had over me grew into me having a very hard time saying no to her. I would do almost anything for her,” Heller wrote.
Heller said that during a sleepover one night, “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. I was obviously uncomfortable, but she was my best friend, so I tried to be open about it.”
Heller said that the “conversation never seemed to end,” and she “began asking me while in bed if I would have sex with her.”
Heller wrote that she tried to laugh it off and told Martinez that she had a boyfriend, which she said Martinez knew. Heller said Martinez told her, “He doesn’t have to know, it’s not a big deal!”
She said it went “on for hours,” with Martinez asking her why she didn’t want to, and saying it would be fun.
“I repeatedly said no. I had work in the morning. I just wanted to sleep. I was exhausted. I attempted to sleep but was kept up the entire night by my friend begging me to sleep with her. It seemed strange, but she was my best friend. I said no, and I thought we could move on,” Heller wrote.
According to Heller, Martinez began asking the same questions the next night. She said they smoked weed together, “since I have a hard time saying no to her.” Heller wrote:
As I lay praying to fall asleep, she began touching my arm. I allowed this to happen. Maybe she’d give up. This went on for maybe an hour. I got increasingly uncomfortable. I started giggling, saying that it tickled. I in no way wanted to make this a sexual situation. ‘Can I just do this? Can I just touch you arm? Can I just touch your boobs?” She began bartering with me. All I wanted to do was go to sleep. She began talking about the appearance of my boobs and begged to JUST touch them. We didn’t have to do anything else. I was so exhausted and confused and high and belittled I just allowed it to happen.
Heller said, “This led her to touching the rest of me. I never said yes. I said no, and repeatedly. But she used her power over me, and broke me down. Just so there is no confusion, I was molested by my best friend. I lay still in shock, completely not reciprocating.”
According to Heller, “she performed oral sex on me and then I was penetrated by a sex toy without being asked.”
Heller said, “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.”
Heller said she never talked about the night with Martinez again.
“Our friendship ended because she decided she didn’t have time for me anymore. To worry about me anymore. She cared too much about me, it was holding her back,” Heller wrote.
Heller concluded, “Girls can rape girls. Best friends can rape best friends. 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.”
2. Martinez Gained Fame After Making It to the Top 6 of ‘The Voice’ as a Member of Adam Levine’s TeamShe
Melanie Martinez gained fame after she was a contestant on NBC’s singing competition, “The Voice,” in 2012, during the show’s third season. She sang Britney Spears’ “Toxic” during her blind audition and ended up on Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine’s team.
Martinez reached the top 6, before she was eliminated.
She was a junior in high school at the time and had previously competed in MSG’s “Varsity Talent Show,” reaching the second round.
3. She Released Her First Album, ‘Cry Baby,’ in 2015
Melanie Martinez released her first album, “Cry Baby,” in August 2015, with singles, “Dollhouse,” “Carousel” and “Pity Party.” In February, it was certified as a platinum album.
The album has been on the “Billboard 200” albums list since it debut.
“I can’t believe it’s been two years — it’s really surreal,” Martinez told Billboard this August. “The whole experience of putting out this record has been really magical, and the people that I’ve met are really special.”
Martinez has been putting together her second album recently.
“My whole mission in general, ever since I was fourteen, was to write music that would help people heal,” Martinez told Billboard. “Music is like therapy for me, so I wanted to do that for other people or be that for other people. I’m just grateful that it’s resonating with that many people. I could not be more grateful, really.”
4. She Grew Up in New York & Began Playing Music While in High School
Martinez was born in Astoria, Queens, New York, and was raised in Baldwin, on Long Island, according to The Surge.
She began playing the guitar and singing while she was a student in Baldwin.
“We always had music lessons in Baldwin,” Martinez, told the Long Island Herald in 2012. “When I was in kindergarten at Plaza [Elementary School], Mr. Nadien pushed us in the right direction. He taught me singing and to play the recorder. I remember he made a Christmas CD with us, and that was exciting.”
5. Heller Was Formerly in the Indie Pop Duo ‘Dresses’ & Released Her First Solo Single Earlier This Year
Timothy Heller wrote on Twitter that she came forward now because of the recent accusations of sexual assault and harassment made against celebrities and other powerful figures.
“I’m terrified of the response I’m going to get. The only reason I do this now is because I’m hoping because of recent events, people will believe me,” Heller wrote. “If you begin to doubt the abuse taking place in this story, I beg you to imagine her role in this being a man.”
Heller lives in Los Angeles and is also a musician. She was part of the indie pop duo Dresses, with Jared Ryan Maldonado. Together they recorded two albums, “Sun Shy,” released in 2013, and “Let Down,” released in 2015.” Heller and Dresses performed at the same show as Melanie Martinez in 2014.
Heller has since started a solo career and released her first single, “Sleep” in October, called a “a dark and pulsing electronic pop song that explores the emotions around cheating,” by Atwood Magazine.
Heller is originally from Portland, Oregon. She talked to Atwood Magazine about her new song:
Basically, the reason I’m putting out a song I wrote when I was 18, is me getting back into doing something, music, that ended up being really painful for me the last time around. My experience in Dresses was a lot darker than anyone let on: I was struggling a lot with mental illness, and had an extremely unsupportive team around me. I was subject to a lot of mental abuse, but kept around because they needed my voice for the band. By the end, I had been convinced I was a sh*tty musician. I eventually couldn’t take the stress of working with people like that anymore, and cut off Dresses entirely. I thought in doing that, I’d automatically love music again and be able to get into it immediately! But it took me years. I just didn’t feel like a musician anymore. I would have breakdowns trying to write songs. I had just been shut down so many times before, I was so defeated. But a lot of good things came out of my year without making music: I focused more on my mental health than I ever have in my life. I feel a million times better about my life now. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to write songs again and be a musician, when ultimately I just wasn’t ready until now. I didn’t believe in myself enough.
Heller is working on her solo songs with her boyfriend, Mikey, a music producer.
“Anyway, as I’m building more confidence in myself and music is becoming part of my life again, I showed Mikey a couple of other songs I’ve written and we’ve started working on them,” she told Atwood Magazine. “It’s really amazing having him here and being an amazing producer, because while I continue to doubt myself on things I’ve written, he’s super patient with me and brings my songs to life, which makes me feel way better about what we’re creating. Basically, my solo music career is going to be MUCH more positive than my last experience. I’m not gonna take shit from people this time and get pushed around by assholes.”