Melanie Martinez may have impressed judges when she appeared on season three of “The Voice” in 2012, but what she’s making headlines for in 2017 is less than positive.
In a lengthy and graphic statement posted on Twitter, Timothy Heller accused Martinez, 22, of performing sexual acts on her despite her protests.
Heller told her followers that her “best friend” Martinez had repeatedly asked her to have sex when the pair shared a bed during sleepovers. According to Heller, she rejected the offers over the course of several nights making different excuses, including that she had a boyfriend, until one evening when Martinez kept asking to touch her and, she said, went on to rape her.
Heller wrote, “The bottom line that I need to always remind myself is that: I said no. For TWO NIGHTS STRAIGHT.”
“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 wrote. “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.”
Following the accusation, Martinez took to Twitter to issue a response, claiming that any and all contact between the women had been consensual.
“I am horrified and saddened by the statements and story told by Timothy Heller,” the singer said. “What she and I shared was a close friendship. We tried to help each other. We both had pain in dealing with our individual demons. She never said no to what we chose to do together. And although we parted ways, I am sending her love and light always.”
Actress Abigail Breslin was one of many who responded online to the statement, slamming Martinez for her “unacceptable response.”
“Not saying no doesn’t mean yes. But for the record, she did and has stressed that numerous times,” Breslin tweeted. “Shame on you for this disgusting reply that contributes to the victim blaming culture we live in.”
Martinez shot to stardom in 2012 during the third season of “The Voice,” when she turned three judges’ chairs with her cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” She became one of the top six contestants before her elimination in the live shows.