Arcade Fire Frontman Win Butler Accused Of Sexual Misconduct

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Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler has denied multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

“I have had consensual relationships outside of my marriage,” the 42-year-old singer, who has been married to bandmate Régine Chassagne since 2003, admitted in a statement to Pitchfork.

“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.

“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 favours. That simply, and unequivocally, never happened.”

On Saturday, Pitchfork published allegations from three women and one person who uses the pronouns “they/them.”

The alleged 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.

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.

In his statement to Pitchfork, Butler said he has long struggled with mental health issues “and the ghosts of childhood abuse” as well as alcohol abuse.

“I say to you all my friends, family, to anyone I have 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 I wasn’t more aware and tuned in to the effect I have on people – I f**ked up, and while not an excuse, I will continue to look forward and heal what can be healed, and learn from past experiences. I can do better and I will do better.”

Chassagne told Pitchfork, in a statement, she supports Butler. “I have stood by him because I know he is a good man who cares about this world, our band, his fans, friends, and our family,” she said.

“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.”

Several other Canadian musicians have faced allegations of sexual misconduct in recent years. 

In June, Hedley singer Jacob Hoggard was found guilty of sexual assault causing bodily harm against an Ottawa woman in a Toronto hotel room. (The jury acquitted him of the same charge in connection to an encounter with a then-teenaged fan, as well as a count of sexual interference.) He was charged by Ontario Provincial Police in March with sexual assault causing bodily harm in connection with an alleged encounter at a Comfort Inn in Kirkland Lake, Ont. in 2016 with a woman who was 19 at the time.

In 2020, iHeartRadio.ca reported on allegations against rising star Langston Francis. He was subsequently dropped by his record label.

That same year, Simple Plan bassist David Desrosiers announced he was leaving the band following allegations from several women. “Recent public statements have led me to acknowledge that some of the interactions I have had with women have caused them harm,” he wrote in a message on Instagram at the time. “I am truly sorry for the harm I have caused to these women.”

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