Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler has been accused of sexual misconduct by four people, according to a detailed report in Pitchfork. Three women claim the encounters were “inappropriate given the age difference, the power dynamics and the context in which they took place,” while a fourth, who is gender biased, claims Butler sexually assaulted them twice in 2015.
Butler – who formed the band in 2001 with Regine Chassagne, now his wife – has admitted the encounters but denied the reports, saying through a spokesman that they were consensual. Statements from Butler and Chassagne appear below; contacted by diversity On Saturday, a representative for the band said there was no further comment.
The three women, who were all passionate Arcade Fire fans, say they “got to feel [their sexual interactions with Butler] were inappropriate given the age differences, the power dynamics and the context in which they occurred.” They said the incidents began between the ages of 18 and 23 and occurred during an overlapping period from 2016 to 2020, when he was between the ages of 36 and 39 was years old.
The fourth person alleges Butler sexually assaulted her twice in 2015 when she was 21 and he was 34: once when they were riding in a car together and another time after he allegedly showed up at her apartment, despite him not being him had asked by SMS not to do this So. Pitchfork says it viewed screenshots of text and Instagram messages between them and Butler, and interviewed friends and family members who said they remembered learning about the alleged incidents. The four people all use pseudonyms in the account.
Butler, who responded through crisis PR rep Risa Heller, admitted to having had sexual interactions with each of the four people but claimed they were consensual and not initiated by him. For detailed accounts of the interactions and Butler’s full statement, visit Pitchfork.
Among other things, his statement reads: “I love Régine with all my heart. We have been together for twenty years, she is my partner in music and in life, my soul mate and I am lucky and grateful to have her by my side. But sometimes it was difficult to find the balance between being the father, husband and bandmates that I want to be. Today I want to clear the air about my life, poor judgment and mistakes I’ve made.
“I have had consensual relationships outside of my marriage.
“There’s no easy way to say this and the hardest thing I’ve ever done was share this with my son. Most of those relationships were short-lived, and my wife is aware – our marriage has been more unconventional than some in the past. I’ve reached out to people in person, at shows, and through social media and shared messages that I’m not proud of. Most importantly, each and every one of these interactions has been mutual and always between consenting adults. It is profoundly revisionist and, quite frankly, simply wrong for anyone to claim otherwise.
“I’ve never touched a woman against her will, and every suggestion I have is just plain wrong. I vehemently deny any suggestion that I have imposed myself or requested sexual favors on any woman. That simply and clearly never happened. While these relationships have all been consensual, I am deeply sorry to anyone who has been hurt by my behavior. Life is full of tremendous pain and mistakes and I never want to be involved in causing pain to anyone else.
“I have long struggled with mental health issues and the ghosts of child abuse. I started drinking in my 30s when I was dealing with the worst depression of my life after our family suffered a miscarriage. None of this is meant to excuse my behavior but I want to give some context and share what was happening in my life around that time…
“I say to all my friends, family, everyone I’ve hurt and to the people who love my music and are shocked and disappointed by this report: I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the pain I caused – I’m sorry that I wasn’t more aware of the effect I was having on people and didn’t adjust to it – I messed up, and while that’s no excuse , I will continue to look forward and heal to be healed and learn from past experiences. I can do better and I will do better.”
The representative also provided a written statement from Chassagne in support of Butler’s perspective, which reads in full:
“Win is my soulmate, my songwriting partner, my husband, the father of my beautiful boy. He has been my partner in life and music for 20 years. And with all the love in our lives, I also watched him suffer immense pain. I stood by him because I know he is a good man who cares about this world, our band, his fans, friends and family. I’ve known Win before we were “famous,” when we were just ordinary college students. I know what is in his heart and I know that he has never and never would touch a woman without her consent and I am sure he never has. He lost his way and he found his way back. I love him and love the life we created together.”
https://variety.com/2022/music/news/arcade-fire-win-butler-sexual-misconduct-1235352722/ Arcade Fire’s Win Butler accused of sexual misconduct by four women