By Brent Furdyk.

Back in August, four people came forward to accuse Win Butler of sexual misconduct, and now a fifth is sharing a new allegation against the Arcade Fire frontman.

In a report in Pitchfork, the anonymous woman shared text message between herself and Butler over the course of their three-year sexual relationship, which she is now characterizing as manipulative and abusive.

According to the woman — who is identified by the pseudonym Sabina — she met Butler when she was working as a waitress in Montreal back in 2015, when she was 22 and he was 35.

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At first, they engaged in conversations about art and literature, but their relationship soon became sexual. “I don’t want to talk too much about the sex itself because there were so many instances of it,” Sabina told Pitchfork. “In general, it was an abusive dynamic. It was really aggressive and I felt like I just had to do what he said. I was not really comfortable with some of the things he was asking me to do, but doing them anyway. And that is ultimately dehumanizing.”

While she believes Butler would describe their sexual relations as consensual, Sabina’s feelings are more complex.

“It was just being available for sex in any form, whether that was in person when he was in town, whether it was photos, and to engage in sexting when he wanted it to happen,” she said. “There was an urgency to his needs that didn’t account for my needs or what was going on in my life or my situation or my whereabouts. When he wanted sex, it was expected that I would be up and ready for it, because it was so nice of him to make time for it or something.”

Ultimately, she added, “the only value I ever held for him was performing sexual acts whenever he wanted.”

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Butler responded to the previous allegations in a lengthy statement confessing to engaging in “consensual relationships outside of [his] marriage” to wife and bandmate Régine Chassagne.

“I love Régine with all of my heart,” Butler wrote in a statement to Pitchfork.

“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,” he continued.

“The majority of these relationships were short lived, and my wife is aware — our marriage has, in the past, been more unconventional than some,” he added.

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Butler went on to insist that he’s “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 favours. That simply, and unequivocally, never happened.”

He adds that the “relationships were all consensual” and that he’s “very sorry to anyone who I have hurt with my behaviour. Life is filled with tremendous pain and error, and I never want to be part of causing someone else’s pain.”


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Ellen Bullock