Timothy Heller, the singer who accused The Voice star Melanie Martinez of rape, has revealed in a new interview that she was very hesitant to come forward because her former friend was a woman and not a man.
Heller told Newsweek magazine that Martinez, now 22, assaulted her on June 25, 2015, after suggesting they play a sexual game with handcuffs. “I was laughing along at first. But Melanie was so serious,” she said. In her original tweet, Heller claimed that the singer began “talking about the appearance of my boobs and begg[ing] to JUST touch them,” then eventually performed oral sex on her and violated her with a sex toy. After, she “lay still, in shock, completely not reciprocating.”
“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,” Heller told the magazine. “Plus, she was my friend, and I sat with what happened in silence because I didn’t want to be malicious.”
Heller tweeted about a story of abuse in November in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein case. “What if I have my own story of abuse but I’m scared to ruin the person’s life and I still love them in a f–ked up way and the public really really loves them,” she wrote.
About 20 minutes after sending the tweet, Martinez allegedly tried calling her. “I started sobbing when I saw [Melanie] was calling me, and I blocked her,” Heller told the magazine, adding that The Voice star then tried contacting her boyfriend to get ahold of her, sending him texts saying she dreamt about Heller and that’s why she wanted to reach out.
“Her fans see her as this angel who understands them,” Heller added. “So I assumed no one was going to take me seriously if I explained what she did. I’ve been reading all the #metoo stories, and though I’m obviously in support of the people coming forward, I wasn’t sure if my story of being assaulted fit. … People don’t really talk about this. But I know now that assault happens this way all the time. I loved her even after it happened, and I had this sick need to protect her, which I’ve learned is very common for victims of assault, especially those hurt by their family or friends.”
Following Heller’s accusations, Martinez took to Twitter on December 5, claiming that they had a close friendship and that Heller “never said no to what we chose to do together.”
In response, Heller told Newsweek: “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.”