Arcade Fire singer Win Butler is accused of sexual misconduct by fans: One alleged victim attempted suicide with overdose of painkillers
- Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler has been accused by four different women of sexual misconduct
- Three of the four accusers were devout fans of the band
- Butler has been married to Arcade Fire singer Regine Chassange for nearly 20 years
- He has denied the allegations of abuse but has not denied having relations with the accusers
- Butler attributes his infidelity to a period of depression in which he was self-medicating with alcohol
- If you or someone you know is suffering from sexual violence, please contact RAINN or call the National Sexual Abuse Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673
Win Butler, the frontman of celebrated indie rock gods Arcade Fire, is facing four allegations of sexual misconduct by significantly younger fans of the group.
The accusations were published Saturday in a bombshell new report from Pitchfork.
Four women, all using pseudonyms, were interviewed for the article. They were between the ages of 18 and 23 when their interactions with Butler took place. He was between 36 and 39.
Following one of the alleged incidents of misconduct, one of the women attempted suicide with an overdose of painkillers.
According to Pitchfork, their accounts were backed up by interviews with family members and a review of text and social media messages between Butler and the alleged victims.
Since 2003, Butler, 42, has been married to Arcade Fire singer Regine Chassange. They formed the band together in 2001. The couple has a son together.
Butler is quoted multiple times in the Pitchfork article, offering rebuttals and outright denying most of the allegations. He admits to having relations with the women but denies that any coercion took place.
Butler is quoted multiple times in the Pitchfork article, offering rebuttals and outright denying most of the allegations
Since 2003, Butler, 42, has been married to Arcade Fire singer Regine Chassange, pictured here. They formed the band together in 2001. The couple has a son together
Chassange also supplied a statement to the website supporting her husband against the claims.
As a result of the article, Butler is being represented by high profile public relations guru Risa Heller.
The Pitchfork piece alleges that the interactions between Butler and women took place between 2016 and 2020 when he was between the ages of 36 and 39 years old.
One section of the Pitchfork piece says that the fans ‘came to feel [their sexual interactions with Butler] were inappropriate given the gaps in age, power dynamics, and context in which they occurred.’
All but one of the women interviewed were huge fans of Arcade Fire.
In one account, a 21-year-old woman said that she was groped by Butler while they rode in a car together.
The woman, who uses they/them pronouns, said that on another occasion, Butler showed up uninvited at their home. They allege that Butler repeatedly and forcefully attempted to initiate sex.
They said also said that Butler berated them for rejecting him. They told Pitchfork: ‘He thought my behavior was weird, so maybe it was actually me in the wrong.’
One section of the Pitchfork piece says that the fans ‘came to feel [their sexual interactions with Butler] were inappropriate given the gaps in age, power dynamics, and context in which they occurred’
Another woman who said that she was 18 when she met Butler after taking a picture of him at a charity basketball game and posting it to Instagram
They continued: ‘Looking back, it’s pretty easy to identify the manipulation at the core of that exchange. It’s also really clear that it worked. I continued to doubt the validity of my behaviors and my assertion of my “no” and lack of consent for months after.’
Another woman who said that she was 18 when she met Butler after taking a picture of him at a charity basketball game and posting it to Instagram. As a result the musician reached out to her on social media.
She alleges that Butler took her out and got her drunk at a bar that he co-owns. Following that, she told Pitchfork that Butler constantly berated her for sexual text messages.
She later says that Butler sent her pictures of his genitals without consent. A friend is quoted by Pitchfork as saying: ‘She was devastated.’
Butler’s account is different, he says that the pair were sexting prior to going out for drinks. He says that the teen propositioned him but that he did not feel right about it and sent her home in a cab.
The teen told Pitchfork that although she admits to being drunk: ‘That’s just not who I am.’
Two other women, using the pseudonyms Sarah and Fiona, described to Pitchfork a ‘strikingly similar set of alleged demands’ made by Butler.
Sarah said: ‘He used me, basically, as his personal therapist, and easy way to get sex over the phone. The FaceTimes would be strictly: he gets off, hangs up. I felt sick every day after I did it.’
In a statement to the website, Butler attributed his infidelity to a period of depression in which he was self-medicating with alcohol
Butler said in a statement: ‘I have had consensual relationships outside of my marriage. There is no easy way to say this’
Sarah’s mother said that she noticed a distinct change in her daughter around this time, noting that she wasn’t talking about Arcade Fire, buying their new album or seeing them in concert.
Butler said of his encounters with Sarah: ‘We started sexting and talking a lot, but I became increasingly uncomfortable when she started coming to all my DJ events and showing up to my restaurant multiple times, to the point I had to tell security to make sure she didn’t get too close.’
Fiona meanwhile said that she did have sex with Butler following a period of texting in Vancouver prior to the band performing in the city.
She said that following the encounter, she attempted suicide with painkillers. Fiona told Pitchfork: ‘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 is quoted in the story as saying that he was surprised when Fiona later told him that their encounter had been emotionally hard on her.
Butler’s wife said in a statement: ”I know what is in his heart, and I know he has never, and would never, touch a woman without her consent’
In a statement to the website, Butler attributed his infidelity to a period of depression in which he was self-medicating with alcohol. The frontman said that the depression was brought on in part after his wife suffered a miscarriage.
Butler wrote in part: ‘I have had consensual relationships outside of my marriage. There is no easy way to say this, and the hardest thing I have ever done is having to share this with my son.’
He said that his wife was aware that their relationship has been ‘more unconventional than some.’
Butler adds: ‘I have never touched a woman against her will, and any implication that I have is simply false.’
While his wife’s statement read in part: ‘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.’
It continued: ‘I love him and love the life we have created together.’
If you or someone you know is suffering from sexual violence, please contact RAINN or call the National Sexual Abuse Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.
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