Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler accused of sexual misconduct

Win Butler, the frontman for Grammy-winning rock band Arcade Fire, has been accused of sexual misconduct by 4 individuals.

Three of the accusers are girls who say they had been “devoted” followers of the band, and declare that the misconduct occurred between 2016 and 2020 after they had been between the ages of 18 and 23 and Butler was between 36 and 39. A fourth accuser, who identifies as “gender-fluid,” alleges that Butler sexually assaulted them twice in 2015, after they had been 21 and he was 34, in accordance with a report in Pitchfork.

Butler has been married to fellow Arcade Fire member Régine Chassagne since 2003.

Butler denied the sexual misconduct allegations, saying that he had had “consensual relationships outside of my marriage,” in accordance with statements he offered to Pitchfork.

The accusers, who had been recognized by pseudonyms within the article, stated that Butler initially contacted them by means of social media earlier than assembly them in particular person, and later made calls for for nude pictures and intercourse. One of many girls advised Pitchfork that “Butler sent her photos of his genitals against her wishes.”

One other girl described that after first connecting with Butler on Instagram after an Arcade Fire live performance in Montreal, the 2 engaged in “sexts and video calls” earlier than having intercourse. Nonetheless, following a sexual encounter in her Vancouver bed room earlier than a live performance in October 2017, this particular person advised Pitchfork that she tried suicide. “I felt incredibly low,” she stated. “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 conscious of her suicide try however stated she advised him “it was unrelated to me, she was suffering from mental illness,” in accordance with the report. “It was absolutely related to him,” she responded.

The gender-fluid particular person, a 21-year-old artwork scholar on the time, stated that they met Butler in January 2015 when the band was taking part in in Montreal. The 2 exchanged contact data and met in February, the place they allege Butler touched them inappropriately with out their consent. Two days later he confirmed up at their condominium, the place “he pinned me up against the wall and was aggressively grabbing my body and sticking his tongue down my throat,” they stated. “It was an attempt to be sexy, and it was so not OK in the context.”

Arcade Fire performs at Coachella in 2022.

(Lance Gerber / Courtesy of Coachella)

In his assertion, Butler referred to as his marriage at instances “unconventional,” and stated that the relationships with the 4 accusers had been “short-lived,” including that “every single one of these interactions has been mutual and always between consenting adults.”

“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,” he stated.

Butler despatched a second assertion to Pitchfork wherein he acknowledged coping with despair and ingesting.

“I have long struggled with mental health issues and the ghosts of childhood abuse. In my 30s, I started drinking as I dealt with the heaviest depression of my life after our family experienced a miscarriage. None of this is intended to excuse my behavior, but I do want to give some context and share what was happening in my life around this time.”

Chassagne, for her half, is standing by her husband.

Butler, she stated in an announcement to Pitchfork, is “my soulmate, my songwriting partner, my husband, the father of my beautiful boy. He has been my partner in life and in music for 20 years.” She went on to say that “I know what is in his heart, and I know he has never, and would never, touch a woman without her consent and I am certain he never did. He has lost his way and he has found his way back. I love him and love the life we have created together.”

Laura Eldeiry, Butler’s publicist, declined to remark past the statements Butler and Chassagne gave to Pitchfork.

Arcade Fire, now a five-piece band fronted by the husband-and-wife duo, earned early popularity of its earnest and anthemic rock. After vaulting from the bustling Montreal indie scene within the mid-2000s, the band grew to become vital favorites and one of many largest rock acts of the final twenty years. They received the Grammy for album of the yr in 2011 for his or her third album, “The Suburbs,” and headlined the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Pageant in 2014. The group returned to Coachella this yr with a shock early-day set selling its newest album, “We.”

As of Saturday, the band continues to be scheduled to start a European enviornment tour on Tuesday, with two nights on the Kia Discussion board in Inglewood in November.

Employees author August Brown contributed to this report