Another Woman Accuses Win Butler Of 'Toxic' Behaviour
Another person has come forward alleging “an ongoing abusive relationship” with Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler.
In August, Pitchfork published a bombshell report on four people’s claims of sexual misconduct against the singer.
The encounters took place between 2015 and 2018 in Montreal and Vancouver. Two of the women claimed they had sexually explicit conversations with Butler via text or FaceTime and one claimed she had sex with him several times. One of the people interviewed by journalist Marc Hogan claimed Butler "pinned me up against the wall and was aggressively grabbing my body and sticking his tongue down my throat” and later tried to perform a sex act.
In a statement at the time, Butler told Pitchfork he had “consensual relationships outside of my marriage” but insisted “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 singer said he has “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 favours. That simply, and unequivocally, never happened.”
In new reporting by Hogan published Tuesday, a woman given the pseudonym Sabina accused Butler of being “emotionally abusive, manipulative, toxic, and using his power dynamic to exploit my body at times that were convenient for him.”
Sabina said she was a 22-year-old student when she met Butler, then 35, in the summer of 2015 at the Montreal café where she worked. He later invited her to a party he was hosting, which she attended with her boyfriend.
Sabina said she had an on-again, off-again sexual relationship with Butler from late 2015 until June 2018 that included “sexting” when they were not together. “It was an abusive dynamic. It was really aggressive and I felt like I just had to do what he said,” she recalled. “I was not really comfortable with some of the things he was asking me to do, but doing them anyway. And that is ultimately dehumanizing.”
Sabina told Pitchfork she realized Butler “didn’t respect me” when he bailed on a commitment to DJ an event she was helping to organize.
She said she sent Butler a lengthly message in which she complained about his fixation on sex. He replied “Thanks for your note” and then asked her to meet for sex and sent her a pair of explicit photos.
“It just felt really, really disrespectful and scary and gross … It felt like that specific encounter was crossing a line that he shouldn’t have crossed and it was shocking,” she said.
Butler, a native of California, met Chassagne in Montreal in 2000 while both were attending university in the city. The couple has a 9-year-old son. Butler became a Canadian citizen in 2019.
A rep for Butler did not provide Pitchfork with an on-the-record response to its requests for comment.
Arcade Fire suffered minimal fallout from the previous allegations about Butler’s behaviour. Fellow Canadian artist Feist pulled out of the band’s overseas tour and Beck bailed on the North American leg (without giving a reason).
Last week, Arcade Fire earned a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Music Album for its latest, WE. The band is scheduled to wrap up the tour with five shows in Canada: Vancouver on Nov. 25, Edmonton on Nov. 27, Toronto on Dec. 1 and 2 and Montreal on Dec. 3.
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