[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
Win Butler, frontman of Arcade Hearth, is being accused by a number of folks of sexual misconduct — all of which befell whereas he has been with his spouse and bandmate, Régine Chassagne.
Now, a rock star going out on on his spouse could also be disappointing, nevertheless it isn’t probably the most stunning movie star information of all time, even for such a household unit as Arcade Hearth. These allegations, nevertheless, transcend simply extramarital affairs. That is misconduct described by 4 folks as habits that descends all the way in which from unbalanced energy dynamics to sexual assault.
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The allegations have been revealed by music magazine Pitchfork over the weekend, in an exposé that options the tales of three ladies who say that they had sexual relationships with Win in some unspecified time in the future within the time interval from 2016 to 2020. Whereas the relationships started with consent, they’ve since come to view them as problematic because of numerous elements, together with excessive age gaps (the ladies have been between 18 and 23 — when Win was 36 to 39) — not to mention the very fact he’s been married to his band’s different singer since 2003. A fourth particular person, nevertheless, who identifies as gender fluid and makes use of they/them pronouns, says Win sexually assaulted them on two events. Pitchfork vetted these tales by chatting with family and friends members of the accusers who have been conscious of the tales on the time, in addition to full-on receipts, within the type of textual content messages and DMs.
Within the face of that proof, Win has already responded by means of a disaster PR supervisor. He has denied the assault however confirmed many facets of the tales, together with that he selected sexual interactions from folks aside from his spouse a number of occasions. Nonetheless, whereas he admitted to sexual relationships, he mentioned in all instances they have been consensual AND claims he didn’t provoke any of them. See the tales, his response to every one, AND Régine’s assertion (under)…
Twice Her Age
Notice: All of the accusers have chosen to stay nameless. Pitchfork has given each a pseudonym for readability.
Stella met Win in 2016 when she was 18 years outdated. She posted photographs of him and Régine from that yr’s annual POP vs. Jock charity occasion. Win recollects:
“This woman caught my eye and smiled at me when I was milling around at a charity basketball event that we had done, and she tagged me on Instagram.”
He DMed her, based on screenshots of messages she shared, writing to this younger fan:
“Hey this is win. I was looking through photos of pop vs jock and remembered that you seemed super familiar for some reason, and I saw your amazing costume from the reflektor tour. So great! Anyway all the best.”
Innocuous sufficient. But it surely didn’t finish there. In line with Stella’s shared messages, the guitarist invited her to return have a drink on the bar he and his spouse personal, which she did. Then he gave her his telephone quantity — and if that alone weren’t a sufficiently big crimson flag, he wrote together with it:
“I am a very private person and would appreciate it very much if you didn’t talk to your friends about me! Hope everything is great :)”
Oof. Let’s not overlook, this man is married and twice her age.
Quickly he started, based on what she shared, sending her sexually express messages, which she says have been unbidden. In a single message again to him, she says:
“Sorry I really hate sexting”
So proper then and there she’s speaking that she’s uncomfortable. Apparently he both didn’t perceive or didn’t care. As a result of the messages allegedly continued — and included photographs of his genitalia. For additional proof, Stella confirmed dated Fb messages she despatched to a buddy in October 2016 by which she wrote:
“Win butler asked me for nudes and tried to sext me. And I told him I was really uncomfortable with that. I don’t really know what to do now. He keeps texting me. Over and over.”
There was no dialogue of her age, however Win informed the journal he knew in regards to the age distinction:
“I googled her and knew that she was 18.”
Win additionally claims the sexting started even earlier than that first drink — and says she got here onto him:
“Later, we met up for a drink and she got quite drunk and was asking me forcefully if there was somewhere we could sleep together. I didn’t feel right about it and put her in a cab and made sure she made it home safe.”
Stella confirms she was drunk and doesn’t keep in mind the whole lot — however is bound she wouldn’t have come onto him like that, saying it’s “just not who I am.”
Win does acknowledge he was unsuitable to begin sexting her after that night time:
“I was drunk when I texted her and misread her not answering that she just didn’t get my texts. I really misread that she was uncomfortable with that second round of sexting and eventually assumed that I must have hurt her feelings by not reciprocating her request to sleep with me.”
The “relationship” with Stella didn’t go any additional. She says after a pair months she “couldn’t take it anymore”:
“I definitely said explicitly that the texts and pictures were not wanted, but that did not stop him.”
But it surely took blocking two totally different numbers earlier than he stopped, she says. A couple of yr later, in September 2017 she attended an Arcade Hearth live performance the place he had put her on the visitor record. She says that was not as a result of they have been cool however as a result of she “wanted to at least get something out of the relationship.”
Reflecting on the dynamics, regardless of a distinction of reminiscence, Win now agrees he was within the unsuitable, saying:
“I didn’t realize the significance of the age difference at the time. I can now see how it could be overwhelming thinking back to when I was 18, but at the time I didn’t appreciate that.”
Sarah and Fiona
Sarah and Fiona‘s tales have been paired because of their similarity. Each women met Win on account of him responding to them after they messaged him on IG about their love of the band. Fiona was 20 when she started speaking to the All the things Now singer in 2017; Sarah was 23, and her interactions started in 2018.
For each ladies, good interactions turned darkish as Win allegedly started to solicit sexually express movies. He requested each, based on their shared messages, for very particular poses and outfits and contours learn to the digital camera.
Sarah says she went by means of with it despite the fact that she was uncomfortable — as a result of it was Arcade Hearth, he was her hero:
“I did everything because it was him. I don’t like doing any kind of video stuff, especially sexual stuff. I remember being so nervous and so ashamed that I did it. I’d be like, ‘I don’t feel well.’ And he’d be like, ‘Send me a picture right now.’ He used me, basically, as his personal therapist, and easy way to get sex over the phone. The FaceTimes would be strictly: he gets off, hangs up. I felt sick every day after I did it.”
Win remembers this very otherwise. Whereas Sarah was made uncomfortable by the cybersex, he says he was made uncomfortable by her real-world proximity:
“I love our fans but this was an unhealthy fandom. We started sexting and talking a lot, but I became increasingly uncomfortable when she started coming to all my DJ events and showing up to my restaurant multiple times, to the point I had to tell security to make sure she didn’t get too close.”
Uh huh. Effectively, whereas we’re certain he was uncomfortable by this, it doesn’t imply she was the one within the unsuitable. He wouldn’t be the primary man who requested a lady for sexual gratification solely to later really feel discomfort when she dares have interaction in real-life acknowledgement. Now, Sarah confirmed she went to 2 of his DJ occasions — one in Montreal in August 2019 and one other in LA in September 2019 — however these are public occasions, they’re not precisely his dwelling deal with. In fact, even when he was making her uncomfortable on-line, he might nonetheless be cautious of her getting too shut IRL — in spite of everything, she might actually blow up his life if his spouse discovered! (As an additional wrinkle, Sarah says she went to the restaurant as a result of her boyfriend labored there, and he or she bought freebies.)
As for Fiona, after her personal sexting interactions, the 20-year-old truly started a bodily, in-person sexual relationship with Win, which he confirms. He says in regards to the relationship:
“This was consensual. We would sext and eventually slept together a couple times. The first time, I realized she had a tattoo of my band, which honestly felt a little weird.”
Actually, dude? You’re in an enormous band that’s been round for like 20 years. We’re certain numerous folks have Arcade Hearth tattoos.
The dishonest and secrecy have been tougher for Fiona than she anticipated; she says she tried suicide with an overdose of Tylenol after one night time having intercourse with him in her room in 2017:
“I felt incredibly low. The toll of having to keep everything secret, constantly pushing my needs aside in order to appease him, lack of boundaries, and the guilt of being the other woman was getting too hard to ignore.”
Win says she didn’t inform him about this on the time — however did ultimately attain out:
“Later, she messaged me after saying that the experience of hooking up with me had been difficult on her mentally, which was really surprising and very sad to me. We immediately talked on the phone and although she indicated her depression was not related to me, I left that conversation committed to never sleeping with someone again that I fundamentally knew so little about.”
Or possibly simply by no means sleep with somebody who isn’t your spouse? Only a thought…
“It really shook me. Although she repeated it was unrelated to me, she was suffering from mental illness, to which I am very sympathetic. After this we wrote for pages and pages like the friends we had become and the feeling I had was that something had been healed in both of us. We talked about getting coffee next time I was in Vancouver, which I intended to do before I heard of these accusations.”
Fiona was proven this assertion and responded about her despair:
“It was absolutely related to him.”
Lily‘s story is different. They weren’t even an enormous fan of Arcade Hearth, although they in fact knew Win Butler as a neighborhood Montreal movie star. They went to a live performance there in January 2015 — and gave the singer their enterprise card. Win recollects Lily “flirted with me all night” — they are saying it was extra pleasant than flirtatious. Both approach, Win — then 34 — did use the cardboard, emailing the 21-year-old artwork scholar the very subsequent day.
The 2 started exchanging textual content messages over a pair weeks. Early on, Lily set a boundary, writing:
“Not that I’ve been making it particularly clear but if this is about sex for you I think you found me at the wrong time.”
They went out on what Butler believes was a date, assembly for drinks, simply the 2 of them. Lily says it couldn’t have been a date as a result of they each had vital others. One main discrepancy: Win says they kissed on that first assembly, Lily is adamant “that did not happen.”
They went for dinner collectively quickly after. Butler recollects they “flirted all meal,” Lily disagrees. They declare the Reflektor singer caught his palms down their pants with out consent on the automobile journey dwelling. Butler says he recollects placing his hand on their inside thigh however NOT down their pants. Listening to this, Lily says they might have been mistaken and it might have been outdoors the pants — nevertheless it was undoubtedly “very aggressive” and aimed on the crotch. Win does concede Lily rebuffed this advance however remembers it very otherwise, recalling:
“[Lily] looked me in the eyes and said ‘not in the car’ in a way that seemed flirtatious.”
They agree there was a goodnight kiss after the automobile journey, however whereas Butler believed it was an indication “the attraction was mutual,” Lily recollects:
“I did not ask for it. I did not reciprocate. It was very short and uncomfortable because it was so bad.”
Win acted rapidly on what he thought was occurring between the 2. He stopped by Lily’s dwelling only a couple days later, regardless of them saying to not as a result of they have been too busy with college. Win confirms this, saying:
“I happened to be by [their] apartment a few days later and asked if [Lily] was free. [Lily] said [they were] busy with schoolwork and I said I would just say hi since I happened to be right there.”
What occurred subsequent is, based on Lily, fully nonconsensual:
“I opened my door and he pinned me up against the wall and was aggressively grabbing my body and sticking his tongue down my throat. It was an attempt to be sexy, and it was so not OK in the context.”
Win recollects the identical occasion otherwise, saying:
“When [Lily] opened the door we started kissing immediately…I don’t remember who initiated it but it was definitely mutual.”
And for this reason confirming consent explicitly is so vital!
Lily says they requested Win to go away however as an alternative he continued:
“Eventually he pulled me onto his lap on my couch. I don’t know if he was holding me by the waist or what, but I was physically constrained by him as he was putting his hand down my pants. At some point he tried to go down on me.”
That’s after they lastly made it unequivocal for anybody — shouting at him to go away:
“The anger and the power in my voice surprised me. I will never forget it.”
It lastly labored, Lily says; Win bought up angrily, and “berated” them for denying his advances. Win remembers your entire incident otherwise. He even says he stopped and made certain there was consent:
“We moved to [Lily’s] bed, but it felt like the mood was weird so I stopped and asked if [Lily] was OK. It seemed like maybe things were moving a little fast. [Lily] never asked me to leave, and I never berated [them]. I did express some genuine confusion as to how the mood had shifted so suddenly and become awkward. I said it was no big deal at all. I stopped and I left.”
“The mood was weird.” That’s how a lot these two weren’t on the identical web page.
Lily then texted Win to apologize for spurning him later:
“He thought my behavior was weird, so maybe it was actually me in the wrong.”
As we speak, they now not really feel any accountability for the miscommunication. They now view the occasions within the automobile and the condominium as sexual assault:
“Looking back, it’s pretty easy to identify the manipulation at the core of that exchange. It’s also really clear that it worked. I continued to doubt the validity of my behaviors and my assertion of my ‘no’ and lack of consent for months after.”
For his half, Win recollects:
“[Lily] wrote me to apologize the next day. I figured it wasn’t a match, and not a big deal. I never forced myself on [them], and when the mood changed I stopped and checked in and left with no drama or issue. I would never assault anyone and I did not assault [Lily].”
A Consensual Affair
It was solely after Stella posted on social media in 2020 about her expertise that every one the accusers discovered each other, sharing their tales with each other first, then lastly with Pitchfork.
There was one different girl who spoke to the journal, although she didn’t have the identical tackle her comparable expertise, full with getting despatched nudes. She informed the outlet she additionally slept with Win and nonetheless thinks of it as consensual — however understands the private politics of all of it are messy:
“It’s this really complicated thing. Yes, it was consensual, but also, there’s a side to it that was almost like, I couldn’t say no.”
Win contends all of those relationships have been consensual however says he sees how the inequality in each age and standing made the encounters inappropriate.
Win’s Full Assertion
The Arcade Hearth frontman despatched a prolonged assertion centered extra on the impact all of this had on his longtime spouse and bandmate. He wrote:
“I love Régine with all of my heart.”
Simply not all of his physique?
“We’ve been collectively for twenty years, she is my associate 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 tough to steadiness being the daddy, husband, and bandmate that I wish to be. As we speak I wish to clear the air about my life, poor judgment, and errors I’ve made.
I’ve had consensual relationships outdoors of my marriage.
There is no such thing as a simple technique to say this, and the toughest factor I’ve ever achieved is having to share this with my son. The vast majority of these relationships have been quick lived, and my spouse is conscious — our marriage has, prior to now, been extra unconventional than some.”
Wait, is he implying they’ve had an open relationship prior to now? In that case, he ought to come out and say that, as a result of it actually doesn’t come throughout in the remainder of this. He continued by as soon as once more denying there was ever something nonconsensual:
“I’ve related with folks in particular person, at reveals, and thru social media, and I’ve shared messages of which I’m not proud. Most significantly, each single certainly one of these interactions has been mutual and all the time between consenting adults. It’s deeply revisionist, and albeit simply unsuitable, for anybody to recommend in any other case.
I’ve by no means touched a lady in opposition to her will, and any implication that I’ve is solely false. I vehemently deny any suggestion that I pressured myself on a lady or demanded sexual favors. That merely, and unequivocally, by no means occurred.”
Nonetheless, he does apologize, saying:
“While these relationships were all consensual, I am very sorry to anyone who I have hurt with my behavior. Life is filled with tremendous pain and error, and I never want to be part of causing someone else’s pain.”
This can be a good begin, nevertheless it does rapidly turn out to be about giving “context” to the habits — of being abused and later being deeply upset a couple of private tragedy:
“I have long struggled with mental health issues and the ghosts of childhood abuse. 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. I no longer recognized myself or the person I had become. Régine waited patiently watching me suffer and tried to help me as best as she could. I know it must have been so hard for her to watch the person she loved so lost.”
OK, he says these points are usually not meant to excuse the habits. He then went on:
“I have been working hard on myself – not out of fear or shame, but because I am a human being who wants to improve despite my flaws and damage. I’ve spent the last few years since Covid hit trying to save that part of my soul. I have put significant time and energy into therapy and healing, including attending AA. I am more aware now of how my public persona can distort relationships even if a situation feels friendly and positive to me. I am very grateful to Régine, my family, my dear friends, and my therapist, who have helped me back from the abyss that I felt certain at times would consume me. The bond I share with my bandmates and the incredibly deep connection I’ve made with an audience through sharing music has literally saved my life. As I look to the future, I am continuing to learn from my mistakes and working hard to become a better person, someone my son can be proud of.”
Lastly he apologizes once more, to everybody, writing:
“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.”
Régine shared her personal assertion with Pitchfork in response to the article. She wrote about standing behind her man and his model of occasions:
“Win is my soulmate, my songwriting partner, my husband, the father of my beautiful boy. He has been my partner in life and in music for 20 years. And for all of the love in our lives, I have also watched him suffer through immense pain. 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. I’ve known Win since before we were ‘famous,’ when we were just ordinary college students. 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. I love him and love the life we have created together.”
Wow. Lots to unpack right here.
What do YOU consider the allegations? Does this rise to sexual assault? Misconduct? Tell us any takes you might have on the tales and Win’s response within the feedback (under).
[Image via Sakura/Lu Chau/WENN.]