Win Butler, the lead singer of the band Arcade Fire, has been accused of sexual misconduct by four people. Three women came forward and told Pitchfork that they thought the things Butler did were “inappropriate” because of the differences in age, power, and the setting in which they happened. The fourth person, who is not sure of their gender, said that the lead singer had sexually assaulted them twice. When the events happened between 2015 and 2020, the victims were all big fans of the Canadian indie rock band. When they first met Butler, they were between 18 and 23 years old. Butler was between 36 and 39 at the time.
Butler has since released a long statement in response to the accusations, in which he says that he had “consensual relationships outside of [his] marriage” with his wife and bandmate Régine Chassagne. “I love Régine with everything in me. We’ve been together for twenty years. She is my partner in music and in life, my soulmate, and I’m lucky and thankful to have her by my side. But it has been hard at times to be the kind of father, husband, and bandmate I want to be. “Today, I want to set the record straight about my life, my bad decisions, and the mistakes I’ve made,” Butler said at the start of his speech.
“I have had relationships outside of my marriage that was mutually agreed upon,” he said. “There’s no easy way to say this, and telling my son is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Most of these relationships didn’t last long, and my wife knows it. Our marriage has been more unusual than some in the past,” he said. “I’ve met people in person, at shows, and through social media, and I’ve sent them messages I’m not happy with. The most important thing is that every single one of these interactions has been a two-way street between adults who have agreed to do so. Anyone who says otherwise is a big liar and, to be honest, just wrong.”
Butler then says, “I’ve never touched a woman against her will, and any implication I might have to the contrary is just false. I strongly disagree with the idea that I forced myself on a woman or asked her to do something sexual. That just never happened, plain and simple.” He also says that “all the relationships were voluntary” and that he’s “very sorry to anyone I’ve hurt with my actions.” There is a lot of pain and mistakes in life, and I never want to be a part of making someone else suffer.
In his statement, Butler talks about how he has been dealing with mental health problems and “the ghosts of childhood abuse” for a long time. “When I was in my 30s, I started drinking because I was going through the worst depression of my life after our family lost a pregnancy,” he said. “None of this is meant to make up for what I did, but I do want to give some background and explain what was going on in my life at the time…”
“I want to say I’m sorry to all my friends, family, people I’ve hurt, and people who love my music and are shocked and upset by this report. I’m sorry for the pain I caused. I’m sorry I wasn’t more aware of how my actions affect other people. I messed up, which is not an excuse, but I will keep looking forward, heal what can be healed, and learn from my mistakes. He said, “I can do better, and I will do better.” Chassagne, who got married to Butler in 2003, also said something about what happened. “Win is my soulmate, my songwriting partner, my husband, and the father of my beautiful boy. He’s been my life and music partner for 20 years. Even though we love each other, I have seen him go through a lot of pain,” she said.
“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,” the singer and multi-instrumentalist said. “I’ve known Win since we were just regular college students, before we were “famous.” I know what’s in his heart, and I’m sure he’s never touched a woman without her permission and would never do so. He got lost, but now he’s back on track. I love him and am happy with the life we’ve built together.”