Fifth person speaks out against Arcade Fire’s Win Butler

Win Butler

Win Butler
Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

In a new pitchfork report, Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler has been accused of having an “ongoing abusive relationship” with a woman using the pseudonym Sabina, which began when she was a 22-year-old student and Butler was 35.

Sabina is the fifth person to come forward with allegations against Butler following the publication of an initial pitchfork report in August, in which four separate people described past sexual relationships with the musician that they “felt inappropriate given the gaps in age, power dynamics and context in which they occurred.” All five defendants were at least 13 years younger than Butler at the time of the alleged abuse.

In the new article, Sabina recounts meeting Butler in Montreal in the summer of 2015, when she was a recently divorced waitress and student. Although the pair initially bonded over literature and poetry (“I thought I was so intellectual,” Sabina says in the report), the relationship quickly turned sexual.

Butler was “emotionally abusive, manipulative, toxic, and used his power dynamic to exploit my body at times that were convenient for him. He met me when I was so vulnerable,” says Sabina. “Overall, it was an offensive dynamic. It was really aggressive and I felt I just had to do what he said. I wasn’t really comfortable with some of the things he asked me to do, but did it anyway. And it’s ultimately dehumanizing,” she continues.

The article goes on to detail how Butler pressured Sabina to leave her boyfriend and her roommate to be alone “with the implication that they could have sex more easily that way,” expecting her to be “available for sex in any form” on his schedule, sent her unsolicited, sexually explicit photos and generally made her feel like she was “just a body.”

She concludes: “If you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship, it makes you feel better to tell yourself that it was all for something, that their outbursts were mistakes and that you meant something to the abuser, that you still value in their eyes. .. But the only value I ever had for him was to perform sexual acts whenever he wanted.”

Butler has yet to respond to this most recent allegation. The full text of his previous response, in which he claims that “every one of these interactions was mutual and always between consenting adults,” is available here.

If you or someone you know is suffering from sexual abuse, contact the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

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