Win Butler of Arcade Fire responds to many allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against him.
Four people have accused Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler of sexual misconduct.
Three women came forward to Pitchfork and said they felt the incidents with Butler "were inappropriate given the age difference, power dynamics, and context in which they occurred." The fourth person, who is gender nonconforming, claimed that she was sexually harassed twice by the singer.
The victims were all avid fans of the Canadian indie rock band when the assaults occurred between 2015 and 2020. They were between 18 and 23 years old when they came into contact with Butler, who was between 36 and 39 at the time.
Butler has since responded to the allegations in a lengthy statement, claiming he had "consensual relationships outside of his marriage" with his wife and bandmate Régine Chassagne.
"I love Régine with all my heart. We have been together for twenty years, she is my partner in music and in life, my soul mate, and I am happy and grateful to have her by my side. But sometimes it's hard to do the balancing act of being the father, husband and bandmate I want to be. Today I want to come clean about my life, my poor judgment and the mistakes I have made," Butler began his statement.
"I have had consensual relationships outside of my marriage," he continued.
"This is not easy for me to say, and the hardest thing I have ever done is share this with my son. Most of these relationships have been short-lived, and my wife knows that - our marriage has been more unconventional than others in the past," he said. "I have met with people in person, at shows and through social media, and I have shared messages that I am not proud of. Most importantly, every single one of those interactions was reciprocal and always between consenting adults. It is deeply revisionist and frankly just wrong for anyone to say otherwise."
Butler goes on to say that he "never touched a woman against her will, and any suggestion that I did is simply false. I vehemently deny any suggestion that I forced myself on a woman or demanded sexual favors. That simply never happened."
He adds that the "relationships were all consensual" and that he is "very sorry for anyone I hurt with my behavior. Life is full of pain and mistakes, and I never want to contribute to inflicting pain on anyone.
In his statement, Butler talks about his long struggle with mental health issues and "the ghosts of childhood abuse."
"I began drinking in my 30s when I was struggling with the most severe depression of my life after our family suffered a miscarriage," he explained. "None of this is to excuse my behavior, but I want to give some context and share what was happening in my life during that time..."
"I am telling you all, my friends, my family, everyone I have hurt, and the people who love my music who are shocked and disappointed by this report: I am sorry. I am sorry for the pain I have caused - I am sorry for not being more aware of the effect I have on other people - I messed up, and while that's no excuse, I will continue to move forward and heal what can be healed, and learn from past experiences. I can do better and I will do better," he said.
Chassagne, who married Butler in 2003, also commented on the incident.
"Win is my soul mate, my songwriting partner, my husband, the father of my beautiful boy. He has been my partner in life and music for 20 years. And with all the love in our lives, I have also seen how much he has suffered," she shared.
"I 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 continued. "I have known Win since before we were 'famous,' when we were just regular college students. I know what's in his heart, and I know that he has never and would never touch a woman without her consent, and I am sure he never has. He has lost his way and found his way back. I love him and I love the life we have built together."