The Voice alum Melanie Martinez has denied an allegation that she raped her former friend Timothy Heller.
“I am horrified and saddened by the statements and story told tonight by Timothy Heller,” Martinez, 22, said in a statement posted on her Twitter account early Tuesday, December 5. “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.”
Heller accused Martinez — who competed on Adam Levine’s team in season 3 of the NBC singing competition in 2012 — of sexual assault in a lengthy note shared on Twitter on Monday, December 4.
“I have kept this secret for years, convincing myself that it wasn’t a big deal and I wasn’t hurt by it,” wrote Heller, who is an aspiring musician. “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 raped you. Someone you STILL love. … I can honestly say she let me down completely. During the most difficult time in my life, my rock bottom. Her power and control over me grew and grew. And I was silenced.”
Heller claimed Martinez once made her “apologize for having an extreme panic attack … because it ruined her night,” adding that their relationship was codependent. Heller wrote that she had a previous experience with sexual abuse prior to the night Martinez allegedly performed oral sex on her without consent. “I never said yes. I said no, repeatedly,” she wrote. “But she used her power over me, and broke me down. … Girls can rape girls. Best friends can rape best friends. Friendship does not equal consent.”