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Don’t Forget The Allegations Against Melanie Martinez

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Last year, The Voice alum Melanie Martinez was accused of sexual assault. And though the initial response to the allegations was a victim-blaming nightmare, the way Martinez's fans continue to defend her a year later is troubling.

Over the weekend, Martinez announced via her Instagram that she had a new album and movie hopefully coming out early next year. However, as seen in the responses to a viral tweet about the announcement, Martinez's fans have primarily responded to the news by going on the defensive and using it to talk about her innocence. 

"INNOCENT QUEEN," one fan wrote, while another declared her the "Queen of pop." And while there were a few commenters who responded by reminding others of the allegations against Martinez, the overwhelming majority of fans seems determined to support Martinez, no matter what. Some even went so far as to ask naysayers to "leave that in 2017." But it's not that simple.

Last year, Martinez was accused of sexual assault by former friend Timothy Heller. Heller initially came forward via social media to allege that she was assaulted by her "best friend," who was later revealed to be Martinez. Describing two nights in which she "repeatedly said no" to sexual advances from Martinez, Heller wrote that Martinez had used their friendship to take advantage of her during a deeply difficult time.

"It doesn't matter that I didn't resist during the action. I had been broken down," Heller wrote, alleging that Martinez used a sex toy and performed oral sex on her without her consent. "She knew I didn't want to, I made that clear." Heller said she had held onto this secret for a long time, as she tried to convince herself "that it wasn't a big deal and I wasn't hurt by it." 

"The thought of accepting that my best friend raped me seems insane," Heller wrote. "But I began to get responses I wasn't expecting. Concerned ones. It's hard to say someone you loved raped you. Someone you STILL love." 

Martinez eventually issued her own statement in response, saying she was "horrified and saddened" by Heller's allegations. "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," Martinez wrote before saying that Heller "never said no to what we chose to do together." Following her initial post, Martinez also issued another statement in which she wrote, "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," Martinez continued. "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.” 

Following all of this, a wave of Martinez fans descended upon Heller's Twitter to attack her, questioning Heller's credibility and even going so far as criticizing her for "not going to the police"—a statement that's eerily similar to our president's recent defense of Brett Kavanaugh. Some even took the victim-blaming a step further, arguing that because Heller didn't "force" Martinez off her, that the alleged assault was Heller's fault. Others said that if there was any merit to the claims, Heller would've sued Martinez by now—another huge misconception that assumes Heller has the means and desire to pursue the charges within a system that tends to dismiss the concerns of survivors. But the most disturbing part of all of this? Almost a year down the line and people continue to accuse Heller of doing it for the "publicity" or purporting that because Martinez was not charged with anything, she must be innocent. Not only that, but underlying all of this is also the insinuation that the allegations shouldn't have an impact on reception to Martinez's new work.  

Many victims whose alleged abusers are high-profile people, face judgment, ridicule, and dismissal. As evidenced by the onslaught of abuse Heller has endured in the wake of coming forward, it's unsurprising she was initially hesitant to tell her story, especially as she told Refinery29 that she didn't have the kind of "cold hard evidence" Martinez's fans were demanding to see. "Her fans see her as this angel who understands them," Heller told Newsweek, "I assumed no one was going to take me seriously if I explained what she did." But in a world where survivors continue to be chided and outright abused for "allowing" themselves to be victimized, we need to continue reminding ourselves that believing all survivors is incredibly important and that false rape allegations are extremely rare. 

More importantly, even if the accused are people whose body of work have had a profound impact on fans, that has no actual bearing on their guilt or innocence. Until we begin supporting survivors and taking their claims seriously, there's no way they will feel safe coming forward, and by continuing to drag Heller, Martinez's fans are just helping to perpetuate the silence. 

Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube www.youtube.com

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Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

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Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale youtu.be

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com

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Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.

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