If you’re an adamant user of Twitter, you may have noticed that Melanie Martinez has been trending for quite a while now. So what happened? Has she released a new song? Announced a new relationship? She’s actually been exposed as a sexual assaulter. Her former best friend, Timothy Heller has accused her of rape.
When I wrote this story about my assault, 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 pic.twitter.com/4PQ5oNI2s9
— Timothy Heller (@timethyheller) December 4, 2017
Timothy’s bio on Twitter is ‘yes I’m a girl named Timothy’ and she’s the artist behind Sleep, a single that was released this year. Timothy confirms that Melanie’s persistence to sleep with her ‘went on for hours’. She knew that Timothy had a boyfriend, but insisted that ‘he doesn’t have to know’ and that ‘it wasn’t a big deal’. Melanie ‘bartered’ with her former best friend for ages until she finally wore her down. ‘Can I just touch your boobs’ quickly turned into full-on molestation without any consent. Melanie even went as far as to perform oral sex and penetrate Timothy with a sex toy, despite her saying no for two days.
After this blew up online, Melanie released a statement in which she claims that Timothy ‘never said no’ to what they chose to do together. All in all, this should simply be taken as a confirmation of Timothy’s events and should boost her credibility. The absence of a no should never be taken as the presence of a yes. Melanie flat out confirms that everything did happen, but doesn’t appear to show any remorse. Her tweet of a message written in the notes app appears to be something written by a publicist, and she hasn’t made any subsequent tweets after that.
— CRYBABY (@MelanieLBBH) December 5, 2017
In her statement, Timothy raises some important issues such as feeling as though ‘owed’ Melanie her life. That line alone indicates a grotesque power imbalance within the relationship and is present in almost all sexual abuse victims who have come forward this year. We’ve seen it with Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. who have all lorded power over their victims. The main difference between those cases and this is that Melanie Martinez is female.
However, this difference should not matter in the bigger scheme of things. Sexual assault is sexual assault no matter who carries it out. Simply being a woman does not excuse Melanie from the horrific things that she inflicted on another, and it does not excuse the betrayal of trust that she pressed onto her best friend. We wouldn’t allow a man to get away with this abuse, this case should not be different. We need to hold all sexual predators accountable for their actions, otherwise, it sets a dangerous precedent that some can get away with it – and that’s dangerous.