This story describes suicide attempts and alleged sexual misconduct.
Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler has been accused of sexual misconduct by four people, allegations he denies.
In a new Pitchfork investigation, four people—who were between the ages of 18 and 23 at the time of the alleged interactions between 2015 and 2020 and asked to use pseudonyms when sharing their stories—accused Butler for “improper” actions.
In a lengthy statement shared with Pitchfork — which you can read in full below — Butler said he was “very sorry for anyone who was hurt by my behavior” but that “all of these relationships were consensual.”
And he said to him: “I wrote up, and although it is not an apology, I will continue to look forward and heal what can be healed, and learn from past experience.”
Butler’s wife and Arcade Fire bandmate Régine Chassagne also shared her own statement, in which she said: “I know he never touched a woman without her consent and I’m sure he never will.”
Included in the story is a complaint from ‘Lily’ (they/them), who alleges that after meeting him at a concert in Montreal in early 2015, Butler touched her in a non-consensual manner while they were in the car, and kiss them “I didn’t ask”.
Lily then alleged that, in another encounter in her apartment, Butler “pinned me against the wall and forcefully grabbed my body and stuck his tongue down my throat,” which they said “wasn’t right in the context.” and that they described it. as “manipulation”. As for this particular accusation, Butler said he “doesn’t remember who started it, but it was definitely mutual.”
Separately, a woman who goes by the pseudonym Stella alleges that after interacting on Instagram when she was 18, Butler “began repeatedly sending her explicit texts without her consent or reciprocity.” Stella made a public complaint against Butler on Instagram in July 2020 calling him a “sexual predator,” and additional allegations were made in the comments of the post by Lily and another woman who had consensual sexual contact with Butler.
Responding to Stella’s allegation in her statement, Butler said: “Later, we met for a drink and she got quite drunk and forced me to ask if there was somewhere we could sleep together. There was only a taxi and he made sure she got home safe and sound.
On being 18 with Stella, Butler said: “At the time I didn’t understand the importance of the age gap. I didn’t.” I respected him.”
Two other women, to whom he refers by the false names Sarah and Fiona, alleged that Butler began messaging them in 2018 and 2017 respectively, when Fiona was 20 and Sarah 23, asking them to send him explicit videos. According to the report, a message from Butler to Fiona allegedly read: “Promise me it’s private and you won’t tell people I messaged you or take a picture or anything!”
Of the alleged exchanges, Sarah told Pitchfork: “He basically used me as his personal therapist, and as an easy way to get phone sex. It would be strictly FaceTimes: he hangs up, he hangs up. I felt bad every day after that.” do it”.
In response, Butler says he and Sarah “started sexting and talking a lot,” but that he began to feel “uncomfortable” with her presence, saying he had to “call security to make sure she wasn’t too close.” Sarah responded by saying that Butler’s security never interacted with her.
After a sexual encounter with Butler in 2017, Fiona says she felt “unbelievably low” and attempted suicide, telling Pitchfork: “The toll of keeping everything a secret, pushing my needs on always set aside to please him.” , the lack of boundaries, and the guilt of being the other woman was becoming too hard to ignore.”
Butler replied, “Almost a year later he contacted me again and said he missed me and wanted to text again, which we did,” which Fiona denies. Butler told him “[Fiona] She messaged me after saying that the experience of contacting me had been hard on her mentally, which really shocked and saddened me.”
Reflecting on the situation, Fiona said it was “totally connected to the depression and her suicide attempt [Butler]“.
Read Win Butler’s full statement below.
“I love Régine with all my heart. We have been together for twenty years, she is my partner in music and in life, my soulmate and I am so lucky and lucky to have her by my side . But sometimes, it was hard to find her. I want to be the father, husband and bandmate today I want to set the record straight about my life, my bad judgment, and the mistakes I made me.
“I had a consensual relationship outside of my marriage.
“It’s not easy to say this, and it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done to share this with my son. Most of these relationships were short-lived, and my wife knows that our marriage, in the past,..i was less mainstream than others I have connected with people in person, at shows, and through social media, and shared messages that I am not proud of More importantly, each of the these interactions are mutual and always between adults with a profound reviewer, and frankly wrong, for anyone to suggest otherwise.
“I have never taken a woman against her will, and there is no suggestion that I have anything but falsehood. I strongly deny any suggestion that I forced a woman or that I demanded sexual favors.
“Although all of these relationships were consensual, I am sorry to anyone I hurt with my behavior. Life is full of great pain and mistakes, and I don’t want to be a part of someone else’s pain.
“I have struggled with mental health issues and the ghosts of childhood abuse for a long time. At the age of 30, I started drinking while dealing with the worst depression of my life after an abortion to be with our family. I meant to apologize for my behavior, but I want to give some context and share what was going on in my life at that time. I didn’t recognize myself or the person I had who more Régine waited patiently watching me suffer and tried to help me the best she could. I know it must be very difficult for her to see the person she loved go Missing.
“I am working hard on myself, not out of fear or shame, but because I am someone who wants to improve my flaws and damage. I have spent a few years, since Covid hit, trying to do that part save. of my soul I have spent a lot of time and energy in therapy and healing, including attending AA I am now more aware of how my public persona can distort relationships, even if the seem friendly and positive story for me. grateful to Régine, my family, my friends and my therapist, who helped me out of the abyss that I was sure would eat me at times. public at Some music literally saved my life.
“As I look to the future, I continue to learn from my mistakes and work hard to become a better person, someone my son can be proud of. I say to all my friends, my family, everyone I hurt and people who love my music and are shocked and disappointed by this report: I’m sorry I’m sorry for the pain I’ve caused, I’m sorry I wasn’t more aware and in tune with the effect I have on people, I. screwed up and although I am not sorry, I will continuously hope and cure what can be cured, and learn from past experience. I can and I will do better.”
Read Régine Chassagne’s full statement below.
“Win is my soulmate, my singing partner, my husband, the father of my precious child. He has been my partner in life and music for 20 years. And despite all the love in our lives, I have also great to see. I was next to him because I know he is a good man who respects this world, our band, his fans, friends and family. I have known Win since we were “famous”, when we were just college students I know what’s in his heart and I know he’s never touched a woman without her permission and I’m sure he never has He’s lost his way and he’s found his way back. I love him and I love the life we’ve created together.”
For help, advice or more information about sexual harassment, assault and rape in the UK, visit the charity Rape Crisis website. In the United States, visit RAINN.
For mental health help and advice: