Arcade Fire: Win Butler werden sexuelle Übergriffe vorgeworfen

Dass es zu (nachweislichen) Chats, Sexting, Treffen und sexuellen Handlungen gekommen sei, dementiert der Sänger von Arcade Fire nicht und bittet um Entschuldigung. Aber er betont in einem Statement: „Alles geschah einvernehmlich!“ Auch seine Frau hat öffentlich Stellung bezogen.

Arcade-Fire-Sänger Win Butler wird von mehreren Personen vorgeworfen, er sei ihnen gegenüber sexuell mindestens übergriffig geworden. „Pitchfork“ veröffentlichte am Wochenende eine ausführliche Recherche und berichtet etwa detailliert von nachweislichem Sexting, Dickpics, Videocalls und Machtmissbrauch. Anonymisiert zu Wort kommen darin unter anderem drei junge Frauen und eine non-binäre Person, die unabhängig voneinander von ähnlichen Erfahrungen mit Butler im Jahr 2016 und danach berichteten. So soll ein Kennenlernen meist über Instagram begonnen haben. Dass es Chats, Treffen und sexuelle Handlungen gegeben habe, gibt Butler zu. Er hält aber daran fest, dass alle Geschehnisse einvernehmlich passiert seien.

Win Butler gründete Arcade Fire 2002 in Montreal mit seiner späteren Frau Régine Chassagne, die von Butlers außerehelichen Beziehungen gewusst haben soll. Das Paar hat einen gemeinsamen Sohn. Arcade Fires aktuelles Album WE erschien im Mai 2022. Im September soll die Band auf Deutschlandtour kommen.

Auf den Social-Media-Kanälen hat die Band zu den Schlagzeilen bisher nicht Stellung bezogen. Sowohl Win Butler als auch Chassagne gaben „Pitchfork“ aber ausführliche Statements. Butler bittet darin um Entschuldigung für all den Schmerz, den er verursacht hat. Er spricht von Depressionen, Alkoholismus und Therapien, ohne dies als Rechtfertigung für sein Handeln anführen zu wollen. Er wolle lernen und nach vorne schauen. Chassagne erklärt, dass sie wisse, dass Butler im Herzen ein guter Mensch sei und sie sich sicher sei, dass er niemals Frauen ohne deren Einverständnis berühren würde.

Lest hier die kompletten Statements im englischsprachigen Original.

Win Butler:

„I love Régine with all of my heart. We have been together for twenty years, she is my partner in music and in life, my soulmate and I am lucky and grateful to have her by my side. But at times, it has been difficult to balance being the father, husband, and bandmate that I want to be. Today I want to clear the air about my life, poor judgment, and mistakes I have made.

I have had consensual relationships outside of my marriage.

There is no easy way to say this, and the hardest thing I have ever done is having to share this with my son. The majority of these relationships were short lived, and my wife is aware – our marriage has, in the past, been more unconventional than some. I have connected with people in person, at shows, and through social media, and I have shared messages of which I am not proud. Most importantly, every single one of these interactions has been mutual and always between consenting adults. It is deeply revisionist, and frankly just wrong, for anyone to suggest otherwise.

I have never touched a woman against her will, and any implication that I have is simply false. I vehemently deny any suggestion that I forced myself on a woman or demanded sexual favors. That simply, and unequivocally, never happened.

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.

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.

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. 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 fucked 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 Chassagne:

„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.“