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Arcade Fire Frontman Win Butler Has Been Accused Of Sexual Misconduct

Three people have accused the Grammy-winning frontman of sexual misconduct, while another has alleged the singer committed sexual assault.

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Content warning: This article contains descriptions of sexual assault and harassment.

The lead singer of Montreal indie rock outfit Arcade Fire has been accused of several instances of sexual misconduct and sexual assault following an investigation by music publication Pitchfork.

Three women came forward to accuse American-Canadian musician Win Butler of alleged sexual misconduct, detailing how the frontman exploited numerous imbalances in the age and power dynamics of those who came forward to acquire sexual favours, while a fourth gender-fluid victim accused Butler of sexually assaulting them twice.

Butler has denied the claims, saying the sexual encounters between fans of Arcade Fire aged between 18 and 23 while Butler was between 34 and 39 place between “consenting adults”, apologising to ex-partner and bandmate Régine Chassagne who was married to Butler at the time.

“The majority of these relationships were short-lived, and my wife is aware,” Butler said in a statement. “Most importantly, every single one of these interactions has been mutual and always between consenting adults. It is deeply revisionist, and frankly just wrong, for anyone to suggest otherwise.”

The victims — who all used pseudonyms in the original reporting from Pitchfork — allege that Butler preyed upon his band’s success when interacting with his fans’ social media, pivoting from initial discussions about his music, to eventually sending and requesting nudes.

Butler allegedly requested similar demands from his victims, requiring them to purchase specific sex toys, pose in certain positions, and recite lines provided to them by the singer. The frontman was also reportedly adamant that the communication remained secret, with Butler allegedly saying, “just promise me it’s private and you won’t tell people I messaged you or screen grab it or anything!” in a screenshot seen by Pitchfork.

One victim, Fiona, said she attempted to take her own life after sexting with Butler culminated in an in-person sexual encounter in 2018, saying that numerous alleged pressures including “constantly pushing my needs aside in order to appease him, lack of boundaries, and the guilt of being the other woman” led to a lengthly period of depression.

Another gender-fluid victim, Lily, claimed that Butler sexually assaulted them whilst driving in 2015, rebuking the frontman after he stuck his hands into their pants. Despite repeatedly being told not to, the singer allegedly arrived at Lily’s apartment two days later, who claimed he started “aggressively grabbing my body and sticking his tongue down my throat” when they answered the door.

Butler supposedly offered to provide Pitchfork a list of women with whom the singer has had consensual sexual experiences with, with his ex-partner Régine Chassagne also providing a statement in support of the singer for the publication.

“I know he has never, and would never, touch a woman without her consent” Chassagne said in a statement.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit an emergency, call 000.

Photo credit: Mark Horton/Getty Images