Melanie Martinez, a former “The Voice” contestant from Baldwin, responded to accusations of sexual assault made against her by a female singer.
“I am horrified and saddened by the statements and story told tonight by Timothy Heller,” Martinez, 22, tweeted Tuesday. “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 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.”
Los Angeles-based singer Heller, 25, formerly of the duo Dresses, had tweeted Monday that she and Martinez had been close friends but that years ago during a sleepover, Martinez had engaged in nonconsensual sex, including with a sex toy.
“It’s hard to say someone you loved raped you. Someone you STILL love,” wrote Portland, Oregon, native Heller, who went on to say, “Co-dependency works in a lot of strange ways.” Despite telling Martinez she had a boyfriend and was uninterested in sex with her, Heller wrote she was worn down by Martinez’s insistence over the course of two evenings, “I never said yes. I said no, repeatedly. But she used her power over me, and broke me down.”
She added, “Girls can rape girls. Best friends can rape best friends. Friendship does not equal consent. Silence doesn’t equal consent.”