After former friend Timothy Heller first accused The Voice star Melanie Martinez of rape, the singer quickly responded to the allegations. And over the weekend, Martinez issued a second statement regarding Heller's accusation. In a note posted to Twitter on Saturday, Dec. 9, Martinez acknowledged that "no one with a heart" would want to immediately dismiss allegations from someone claiming to be a victim of sexual abuse when they speak up, but insisted that her interactions with Heller were consensual.
Heller first went public with her accusations on Dec. 4, with a tweet detailing her relationship with Martinez and an allegation of a non-consensual sexual encounter. "When I wrote this story about my assault," Heller claimed in the caption posted with her full letter, "I initially wasn't going to make the abuser. But I think it's important for you all to know this is about Melanie Martinez."
Later that day, Martinez responded denying the allegation of non-consensual sexual activity with a message to social media. "She never said no to what we chose to do together," Martinez claimed.
In her second response to Heller's tweet, she again denied the allegations and thanked fans for questioning Heller's accusation. The full text of the statement reads:
I understand how hard it could be to see my side of the story, considering no one with a heart would want to invalidate anyone speaking up about this topic. I want to thank my fans who took the time to research the timeline, analyze past Instagram photos, and question the story being told, which reveal her false statements. I trusted so many people in my life who took advantage of that trust for their own personal gain. Please know that my intentions with everything that I do in my life are always pure and I would never be intimate with someone without their absolute consent.
Martinez was criticized for her initial response to Heller's allegations for claiming that Heller "never said no." As users on Twitter were quick to point out, the absence of a "no" does indicate consent.
In the days that followed Heller coming forward with her allegations, Martinez has faced significant backlash from fans. Fans even took to social media to share photos of themselves destroying T-shirts and merchandise purchased from one of Martinez tour stops. "I used to really love her music but honestly I can't listen to it now and feel the same way as I used to," one former fan said, according to BuzzFeed. "I didn't want to be associated with Melanie Martinez or her 'brand' anymore"
Heller indicated on Twitter that she was receiving backlash online for publicly sharing her allegations. "This is why victims don’t speak up," she shared to the social media platform shortly after Martinez's post. "I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone."
Heller later followed up with a tweet posted the next morning, Dec. 10, clarifying that she did not regret publicly sharing her allegation of rape. She said:
Martinez became known after appearing on the third season of NBC's singing competition The Voice, and worked with coach Adam Levine. Martinez was eliminated during week five of the competition, but has since had success outside of the show. The video for her debut single, "Doll House," has been viewed over 160 million times on YouTube, and she's had a number of singles certified gold by the RIAA. Her most recent studio album, Cry Baby, was released in 2015.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.