Win Butler

Photo: Rollingstone

Arcade Fire kicked off their world tour in Dublin on Tuesday, just days after the band’s frontman Vin Butler was accused of sexual abuse.

Per Pitchfork, over the weekend four people between the ages of 18 and 23 were spotted claiming the musician was misbehaving. The allegations ranged from sexual assault to awkward sexual text messages and forced touching.

Butler denied such allegations, saying all contacts were mutually agreed.

“I have never touched a woman against her will,” he told Pitchfork. “It is deeply revisionist, and frankly just wrong, for anyone to suggest otherwise.” 

The award-winning artist, who is married to bandmate Régine Chassagne, cited previous battles with alcohol and depression, saying he was “very sorry to anyone who I have hurt with my behavior.” 

The Pitchfork survey was conducted from 2015 to 2020, when Butler was between the ages of 34 and 39. All those who claimed the alleged wrongdoing were about 10 years younger.

One, who was interviewed by the outlet under the name of Lily using pronouns they/them, said they met the artist at a concert in 2015.

After the performance, Butler allegedly touched and kissed them in the car without their consent. At another time, Lily said, right after opening her front door to Butler, “he pinned me up against the wall and was aggressively grabbing my body and sticking his tongue down my throat.” 

Butler said he touched Lily’s thigh in the car and the second rendezvous was “definitely mutual.”

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A woman who identified herself as Stella stated that she began conversing with Butler in 2016 when she was 18 and he was 36 and that she met up with him for a drink. 

She claimed that the Grammy winner then started “repeatedly sending her explicit texts without her consent or reciprocation,” although she expressed her rejection. 

The singer admitted to the sexting but stated that he did not know the messages were not welcome. He claimed to have not recognized the significance of the age gap at the time but could currently see “how it could be overwhelming.” 

In an interview with Pitchfork, Butler’s wife said her husband “has never, and would never, touch a woman without her consent, and I am certain he never did.” 

These allegations have made numerous radio stations in Canada, the band’s native land, halt playing their music.

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