Melanie Martinez’s Rape Allegations


Patrycja Chrzanowska, Editor

Most people would agree that Melanie Martinez’s debut was either in 2014 with her EP Dollhouse or in 2015 with her EP Crybaby. It’s no secret that she’s known for quite peculiar music. The music is portrayed as very innocent or even immature because of song names such as Dollhouse, Crybaby, and Mrs. Potato Head. Her music videos also tend to feature her acting and dressing very childishly. Despite this portrayal, Martinez’s music is far from childish or immature as it actually brings awareness to important issues such as abuse and the dangers of social beauty norms. Though her music is clearly not for everyone, nobody’s music is universal, thus her music isn’t a problem. The recent controversy surrounding Melanie Martinez actually has to do with her being accused of rape.

Timothy Heller, a former best friend of Melanie Martinez, claimed to have been encouraged by the #metoo movement to share her story. The two became close friends years ago by bonding over their struggle to make it big as musicians. Once Martinez surpassed Heller in fame, the two eventually grew apart for reasons that until recently, have been unbeknownst to anyone else. In early December, Heller posted a lengthy accusation on Twitter. She spoke about an incident that took place over a couple of nights when a former best friend who she trusted and loved was persistently trying to convince her to have sex with her. Heller was already tired, and refused multiple times, but was not left alone. Eventually, Heller was so exhausted and tired of saying no, that she didn’t say no. Though she never said yes, she also stopped saying no because she no longer had the energy to do so, and this caused a shift in power. In her story on Twitter Heller said, “I never said yes. I said no repeatedly. But she used her power over me, and broke me down. Just so there is no confusion, I was molested by my best friend. I lay still, in shock, completely not reciprocating. I hate speaking so bluntly on this because it makes me extremely uncomfortable…” At first, Heller left her supposed rapist unnamed, however, on December 4, she revealed her story was in fact about Martinez, which, as many would imagine, caused major backlash for both of them.

After reading Heller’s accusations, many people were outraged that Martinez would do  something like this. Even many fans of the singer let their resentment be heard. They tweeted and posted on other social media about unstanning Melanie Martinez and getting rid of any merch of hers that they owned. While this was the case for many people, there were also people, some who weren’t even fans of Martinez, who weren’t so quick to turn on her. Martinez spoke out and denied the accusation and since neither Heller nor Martinez  had any proof, it’s impossible to tell who is telling the truth. After all, there have been numerous cases where someone had made false accusations of sexual harassment for one reason or another and Heller does have a reason to do so. It’s completely plausible to say that perhaps Heller was jealous of the fact that Martinez’s music career had kicked off while her own had not really done the same.

In today’s society, sexual assault is an extremely serious issue and rightly so; however, because of how prominent of an issue it is, there are people who take advantage of it for their own gain. Being skeptical of someone who claims to be a victim of sexual harassment seems insensitive, but believing the victim with no proof is unfair to anyone being accused who may or may not be being falsely accused. Although it’s difficult to tell who should be trusted, one thing seems to be agreed on by everyone. If there does turn out to be some kind of proof of what had happened, someone needs to suffer some consequences. Rape is no joke. If it really is true that Martinez raped Heller, she needs to suffer the appropriate consequences, and if it turns out that Heller’s statement was a lie, Heller should suffer the appropriate consequences.