A fifth individual has come ahead with misconduct allegations against Arcade Fire’s Win Butler, saying he was “emotionally abusive, manipulative, and poisonous” throughout their three-year relationship, Pitchfork experiences.

The new allegations, introduced by a lady utilizing the pseudonym Sabina, come a number of months after four people accused Butler of sexual misconduct between 2016 and 2020. Three of his accusers stated Butler used his fame to stress them into sexual encounters; a fourth stated Butler sexually assaulted them on two events, together with as soon as sticking his hand into their pants with out consent. 

Butler (who has been married to Arcade Fire bandmate Régine Chassagne since 2003) admitted to the extramarital relationships however stated all the sexual encounters had been “consensual.”

Sabina, for her half, described her relationship as “abusive” and rooted in a transparent energy imbalance: She was 22 when she met Butler, and he was 35; he was a world-famous musician, and she or he had simply left a strict non secular group and moved to Montreal, the place she was taking college courses and dealing at a restaurant. 

“It was an ongoing abusive relationship,” she stated. “Emotionally abusive, manipulative, poisonous, and utilizing his energy dynamic to take advantage of my physique at instances that had been handy for him. He met me after I was so weak.”

A rep for Butler was not instantly out there to return Rolling Stone’s request for remark.

Sabina claimed she met Butler in 2015 on the cafe the place she labored, and the 2 quickly started speaking and texting. Sabina was relationship somebody on the time and stated Butler would sometimes ask her if she and her boyfriend had damaged up but. Eventually, Sabina and Butler kissed whereas out for a drink one night time, an expertise she described as “jarring” in a diary entry on the time. Still, she stated she felt interested in Butler, and their relationship progressed, ultimately turning into sexual.

Echoing a few of the allegations made by his earlier accusers, Sabina stated Butler ceaselessly turned their textual content conversations towards intercourse and requested for express pictures. In different diary entries from the time, she wrote about her attraction to Butler but additionally expressed issues that she was “only a physique” to him. 

Sabina acknowledged that, throughout their sexual encounters, she by no means instructed Butler “No,” nor did she attempt to cease him. Because of that, she stated Butler most likely believed the intercourse that they had was consensual. However, she defined why she believed it was really extra sophisticated than that and clouded by the facility imbalance of their relationship.

“In common, it was an abusive dynamic,” she stated. “It was actually aggressive, and I felt like I simply needed to do what he stated. I used to be probably not snug with a few of the issues he was asking me to do, however doing them anyway. And that’s in the end dehumanizing.” 

Additionally, Sabina stated she was inquisitive about pursuing a deeper relationship with Butler, however he appeared solely inquisitive about intercourse, whether or not in-person encounters or asking her to ship pictures or “interact in sexting when he wished it to occur.” When Sabina didn’t reply to his requests, she stated, “He would make you are feeling so dangerous about it. You’re being reduce off from contact if you happen to don’t comply with sexual favors.”

Sabina additionally described — and supplied proof of — Butler’s frequent texting and requests for intercourse, in addition to nude images of himself that he despatched unsolicited. In one occasion from late August 2017 (not lengthy after Butler canceled a deliberate DJ set at an occasion Sabina helped arrange), Sabina despatched Butler a protracted message about a few of the challenges she was dealing with in her life and the way his fixation on intercourse made her really feel like wasn’t “even an individual.”

Butler reportedly replied, “Thanks for the notice,” then spent the night time telling Sabina he wished to see her. At one level, he despatched two pictures, one among which reportedly confirmed him masturbating. 

“I hadn’t requested for it in any respect,” Sabina stated of the pictures. “It simply felt actually, actually disrespectful and scary and gross … It felt like that particular encounter was crossing a line that he shouldn’t have crossed, and it was surprising. I actually really feel like he has extra to apologize for. He by no means took accountability for that.” (Butler did reportedly ship a textual content apologizing for the pictures — and likewise continued to ask Sabina if he may see her.)

Sabina and Butler continued to see one another sometimes for about one other yr, their relationship lastly ending in June 2018. Sabina, nevertheless, stated that she regretted not breaking it off after Butler despatched these images. 


“If you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship, it makes you are feeling higher to inform your self that this was all for one thing, that their outbursts had been errors and that you just meant one thing to the abuser, that you just nonetheless maintain worth of their eyes,” she stated. “But the one worth I ever held for him was performing sexual acts every time he wished.”

Following the preliminary allegations in opposition to Butler, Arcade Fire went forward with their tour in help of their most up-to-date album, We (deliberate openers Feist and Beck, nevertheless, each dropped off the trek). We was additionally just nominated for a Grammy for Best Alternative Album.

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