Jan 11, 2023
Win Butler, the frontman for Grammy-winning rock band Arcade Fire, has been accused of sexual misconduct by four people.
According to an investigative report from Pitchfork, four individuals aged between 18 and 23 at the time of the alleged incidents have accused Butler of inappropriate sexual behavior.
“The three women, and one gender-fluid person, accuse the singer of taking advantage of his fame and their fandom, including sending unwanted sexual messages, during incidents that occurred between 2015 and 2020, when Butler was between 34 and 39,” The Guardian reported.
The three women accusers were described by the Los Angeles Times as “devoted” fans of Arcade Fire. The details of those accusations include:
The fourth accuser who identifies as “gender-fluid” alleges that Butler sexually assaulted them twice in 2015, according to the Los Angeles Times. At the time, the accuser was 21 and Butler was 34.
Following the allegations of sexual misconduct, Butler issued a statement to Pitchfork:
“While these relationships were all consensual, I am very sorry to anyone who I have hurt with my behavior,” he wrote. “As I look to the future, I am continuing to learn from my mistakes and working hard to become a better person, someone my son can be proud of. […] I’m sorry I wasn’t more aware and tuned in to the effect I have on people – I f***** up, and while not an excuse, I will continue to look forward and heal what can be healed, and learn from past experiences.”
All accusers were identified by pseudonyms in the Pitchfork article. They each indicated that Butler initially contacted them through social media before meeting in person. Butler “later made demands for nude photos and sex,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
One of the women confirmed to Pitchfork that “Butler sent her photos of his genitals against her wishes.”
Another woman, identified as Fiona, told Pitchfork that she first connected with Butler via Instagram after an Arcade Fire concert in Montreal. The two reportedly engaged in “sexts and video calls” before having sex, the L.A. Times reported.
After a sexual encounter in her Vancouver bedroom prior to a 2017 Arcade Fire concert, however, Fiona told Pitchfork that she attempted suicide.
“I felt incredibly low,” she said. “The toll of having to keep everything secret, constantly pushing my needs aside in order to appease him, lack of boundaries, and the guilt of being the other woman was getting too hard to ignore.”
Butler acknowledged that he was aware of the woman’s suicide attempt but indicated to Pitchfork that she had told him “it was unrelated to me, she was suffering from mental illness,” according to the report.
“It was absolutely related to him,” she responded to Pitchfork.
The gender-fluid individual, a 21-year-old art student at the time identified in the Pitchfork article as Lily, said that they met Butler in January 2015 when the band was again playing in Montreal. The two reportedly exchanged contact information, eventually meeting in February.
Lily alleges “… Butler touched them inappropriately without their consent. Two days later he showed up at their apartment, where ‘he pinned me up against the wall and was aggressively grabbing my body and sticking his tongue down my throat,’ they said. ‘It was an attempt to be sexy, and it was so not OK in the context,'” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Butler has been married to fellow Arcade Fire member Régine Chassagne since 2003. In his statement, Butler referred to their marriage as “unconventional,” noting that relationships with all of the accusers were “short-lived.”
“Every single one of these interactions has been mutual and always between consenting adults,” Butler said.
“I have never touched a woman against her will, and any implication that I have is simply false. I vehemently deny any suggestion that I forced myself on a woman or demanded sexual favors. That simply, and unequivocally, never happened.”
As of Saturday, the Los Angeles Times reported that Arcade Fire is still scheduled to begin a European arena tour on Tuesday, with two nights confirmed at the Kia Forum in Inglewood in November.
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) offers the following statistics on sexual violence in the United States:
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