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Arcade Hearth Frontman Win Butler Accused of Sexual Misconduct, Shares Assertion

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Be aware: This text accommodates descriptions of alleged sexual misconduct and references to suicide.

Arcade Hearth frontman Win Butler is going through allegations of sexual misconduct by a number of girls. In a prolonged Pitchfork report by music journalist Marc Hogan, 4 individuals – who had been between the ages of 18 and 23 on the time of the interactions, which allegedly befell between 2015 and 2020 – have accused Butler of getting inappropriate sexual relationships with them.

In a written assertion to Pitchfork, Butler (through disaster public relations skilled Risa Heller) admitted to having extramarital relationships, however stated that the encounters had been consensual and never initiated by him. “I’ve by no means touched a girl towards her will, and any implication that I’ve is just false,” Butler stated. “I vehemently deny any suggestion that I pressured myself on a girl or demanded sexual favors. That merely, and unequivocally, by no means occurred.”

“Whereas these relationships had been all consensual, I’m very sorry to anybody who I’ve damage with my habits,” he added. “Life is crammed with great ache and error, and I by no means need to be a part of inflicting another person’s ache. As I look to the long run, I’m persevering with to study from my errors and dealing exhausting to develop into a greater particular person, somebody my son could be pleased with. […] I’m sorry I wasn’t extra conscious and tuned in to the impact I’ve on individuals – I fucked up, and whereas not an excuse, I’ll proceed to look ahead and heal what could be healed, and study from previous experiences.” You’ll be able to learn the complete assertion under.

Butler’s spouse and Arcade Hearth bandmate Régine Chassagne additionally supplied an announcement, saying, “I do know what’s in his coronary heart, and I do know he has by no means, and would by no means, contact a girl with out her consent and I’m sure he by no means did. He has misplaced his means and he has discovered his means again.”

The story particulars a relationship with Lily (a pseudonym), who’s gender-fluid and makes use of they/them pronouns. Lily stated that they met Butler at a live performance in Montreal firstly of 2015 whereas they had been 21 and learning artwork. Nonetheless, after they met once more for dinner, Butler allegedly caught his arms into Lily’s pants with out consent. A few days later, Butler confirmed up at Lily’s house, the place, Lily claims, he “pinned me up towards the wall and was aggressively grabbing my physique and sticking his tongue down my throat. It was an try and be attractive, and it was so not OK within the context.” Responding to the alleged incident, Butler stated:

We moved to [Lily’s] mattress, nevertheless it felt just like the temper was bizarre so I ended and requested if [Lily] was OK. It appeared like possibly issues had been transferring slightly quick. [Lily] by no means requested me to go away, and I by no means berated [them]. I did categorical some real confusion as to how the temper had shifted so all of the sudden and develop into awkward. I stated it was no large deal in any respect. I ended and I left.

[Lily] wrote me to apologize the subsequent day. I figured it wasn’t a match, and never a giant deal. I by no means pressured myself on [them], and when the temper modified I ended and checked in and left with no drama or problem. I might by no means assault anybody and I didn’t assault [Lily].

Additionally included within the story is an allegation by a girl who’s recognized by the pseudonym Stella, who claims that Butler started repeatedly sending her specific texts with out consent or reciprocation after they met when she was 18. She additionally alleges that Butler despatched her unsolicited images of his genitals. Addressing his 18-year age distinction with Stella, Butler commented: “I didn’t realise the importance of the age distinction on the time. I can now see the way it may very well be overwhelming pondering again to after I was 18, however on the time I didn’t admire that.”

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Two extra girls, referred to by the pseudonyms Sarah and Fiona, instructed Pitchfork that Butler began messaging on Instagram when Fiona was 20 and Sarah was 23, making informal dialog earlier than asking for them to share specific movies.

“I did the whole lot as a result of it was him,” Sarah stated. “I don’t like doing any type of video stuff, particularly sexual stuff. I bear in mind being so nervous and so ashamed that I did it. I’d be like, ‘I don’t really feel nicely.’ And he’d be like, ‘Ship me an image proper now.’ He used me, mainly, as his private therapist, and simple method to get intercourse over the cellphone. The FaceTimes could be strictly: he will get off, hangs up. I felt sick daily after I did it.”

In response, Butler characterised Sarah’s behaviour as “unhealthy fandom,” saying that he “grew to become more and more uncomfortable” along with her presence and “needed to inform safety to verify she didn’t get too shut.” Sarah claims that Butler’s safety by no means interacted along with her.

Fiona’s relationship with Butler, who reached out to her following an Arcade Hearth live performance in Montreal the place she was within the entrance row, additionally went from on-line to in-person. In response to Butler, “This was consensual. We might sext and ultimately slept collectively a pair occasions. The primary time, I spotted she had a tattoo of my band, which truthfully felt slightly bizarre.”

After an in-person sexual encounter in Vancouver the evening earlier than an Arcade Hearth live performance in that metropolis, Fiona says she felt “extremely low” and tried suicide by swallowing a big amount of extra-strength Tylenol. “The toll of getting to maintain the whole lot secret, continuously pushing my wants apart so as to appease him, lack of boundaries, and the guilt of being the opposite girl was getting too exhausting to disregard,” she stated.

Butler responded by acknowledging that he knew in regards to the suicide try, however claims Fiona “repeated it was unrelated to me, she was affected by psychological sickness, to which I’m very sympathetic.” Fiona instructed Pitchfork of her melancholy and suicide try: “It was completely associated to him.”

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In July 2020, Stella publicly accused Butler in an Instagram put up during which she referred to as him a “sexual predator.” “He would continuously attempt to coerce me into sexual encounters and sending nude images of myself and sending unsolicited nude photos of himself after I repeatedly instructed him I used to be not ,” she wrote. “He wouldn’t depart me alone and texted me from totally different numbers after I blocked him. By no means as soon as requested for my age both.”

After seeing Stella’s put up, Sarah reached out to Stella and uploaded a screenshot of the put up to Reddit, the place Lily and Fiona, in addition to one other girl who allegedly had a consensual interplay with Butler, responded within the feedback. One other girl additionally detailed an in-person sexual encounter with Butler that she in the end felt blurred the boundaries of consent as a result of energy dynamic between them. “It’s this actually difficult factor,” she instructed Pitchfork. “Sure, it was consensual, but additionally, there’s a facet to it that was virtually like, I couldn’t say no.”


Win Butler’s assertion:

I like Régine with all of my coronary heart. We’ve been collectively for twenty years, she is my accomplice in music and in life, my soulmate and I’m fortunate and grateful to have her by my facet. However at occasions, it has been troublesome to stability being the daddy, husband, and bandmate that I need to be. Right now I need to clear the air about my life, poor judgment, and errors I’ve made.

I’ve had consensual relationships exterior of my marriage.

There isn’t a simple method to say this, and the toughest factor I’ve ever accomplished is having to share this with my son. The vast majority of these relationships had been brief lived, and my spouse is conscious – our marriage has, prior to now, been extra unconventional than some. I’ve related with individuals in particular person, at exhibits, and thru social media, and I’ve shared messages of which I’m not proud. Most significantly, each single one among these interactions has been mutual and at all times between consenting adults. It’s deeply revisionist, and albeit simply mistaken, for anybody to recommend in any other case.

I’ve by no means touched a girl towards her will, and any implication that I’ve is just false. I vehemently deny any suggestion that I pressured myself on a girl or demanded sexual favors. That merely, and unequivocally, by no means occurred.

Whereas these relationships had been all consensual, I’m very sorry to anybody who I’ve damage with my habits. Life is crammed with great ache and error, and I by no means need to be a part of inflicting another person’s ache.

I’ve lengthy struggled with psychological well being points and the ghosts of childhood abuse. In my 30s, I began ingesting as I handled the heaviest melancholy of my life after our household skilled a miscarriage. None of that is meant to excuse my habits, however I do need to give some context and share what was occurring in my life round this time. I not acknowledged myself or the particular person I had develop into. Régine waited patiently watching me undergo and tried to assist me as finest as she might. I do know it should have been so exhausting for her to look at the particular person she liked so misplaced.

I’ve been working exhausting on myself – not out of concern or disgrace, however as a result of I’m a human being who needs to enhance regardless of my flaws and harm. I’ve spent the previous few years since Covid hit attempting to save lots of that a part of my soul. I’ve put important time and power into remedy and therapeutic, together with attending AA. I’m extra conscious now of how my public persona can distort relationships even when a scenario feels pleasant and constructive to me. I’m very grateful to Régine, my household, my pricey buddies, and my therapist, who’ve helped me again from the abyss that I felt sure at occasions would devour me. The bond I share with my bandmates and the extremely deep connection I’ve made with an viewers by means of sharing music has actually saved my life.

As I look to the long run, I’m persevering with to study from my errors and dealing exhausting to develop into a greater particular person, somebody my son could be pleased with. I say to you all my buddies, household, to anybody I’ve damage and to the individuals who love my music and are shocked and disillusioned by this report: I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the ache I precipitated – I’m sorry I wasn’t extra conscious and tuned in to the impact I’ve on individuals – I fucked up, and whereas not an excuse, I’ll proceed to look ahead and heal what could be healed, and study from previous experiences. I can do higher and I’ll do higher.

Régine Chassagne’s assertion:

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Win is my soulmate, my songwriting accomplice, my husband, the daddy of my lovely boy. He has been my accomplice in life and in music for 20 years. And for the entire love in our lives, I’ve additionally watched him undergo by means of immense ache. I’ve stood by him as a result of I do know he is an efficient man who cares about this world, our band, his followers, buddies, and our household. I’ve recognized Win since earlier than we had been “well-known,” after we had been simply abnormal faculty college students. I do know what’s in his coronary heart, and I do know he has by no means, and would by no means, contact a girl with out her consent and I’m sure he by no means did. He has misplaced his means and he has discovered his means again. I like him and love the life we now have created collectively.

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