Content warning: This article discusses alleged sexual abuse.
Win Butler, singer and co-frontperson for Canadian indie band Arcade Fire, has again come under scrutiny for alleged sexual misconduct. The new allegations, reported by Pitchfork, have been put forward by a woman who states that she was in a three-year relationship with Butler.
New Allegations of Abuse Against Arcade Fire’s Win Butler
Another woman has come forward with a claim that Arcade Fire’s Win Butler was emotionally abusive during a previous sexual relationship. He has not responded to requests for comment. https://t.co/mFO8FAWqxv
— Pitchfork (@pitchfork) November 22, 2022
The woman, who spoke under the pseudonym Sabina, told Pitchfork in a detailed interview the circumstances and dynamics under which Butler and her relationship formed. “In general, it was an abusive dynamic,” Sabina said.
Sabina told Pitchfork that her relationship with Butler “was really aggressive”. She continued, “I felt like I just had to do what he said. I was not really comfortable with some of the things he was asking me to do, but doing them anyway. And that is ultimately dehumanising.”
Sabina’s allegations follow a story in August of this year, also broken by Pitchfork, in which four people accused Butler of sexual assault and misconduct between 2015 and 2020. At the time, Butler issued a statement through PR firm Risa Heller, who specialise in crisis and reputation management.
“I have long struggled with mental health issues and the ghosts of childhood abuse,” Butler wrote in the statement. “In my 30s, I started drinking as I dealt with the heaviest depression of my life after our family experienced a miscarriage. None of this is intended to excuse my behavior, but I do want to give some context and share what was happening in my life around this time.”
The accusations against Butler can be interpreted in the context of the #MeToo movement, which, starting in Hollywood, saw individuals around the world speak out against a culture of rape and sexual abuse. The movement encouraged a more nuanced conversation about consent, particularly in relationships where there is a power imbalance.
At the time of writing, Win Butler has not responded to the new allegations.
If you need assistance, 1800 RESPECT – the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service — can be reached on 1800 737 732.
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