Warning: The following article contains potentially triggering material relating to sexual assault. If you are a victim of sexual assault, call RAINN at 1-800-656-4673.
According to Pitchfork, the alleged misconduct took place between 2015 and 2020, when the victims — three women and one person who is gender-fluid and uses they/them pronouns — ranged in age between 18 and 23 and Butler was between 36 and 39. Pitchfork spoke to friends and family members of the alleged victims who recalled being told about the incidents, and also viewed screenshots of text messages and Instagram conversations between them and Butler.
In a written statement to Pitchfork, Butler acknowledged having relationships with the four individuals, but said they were all consensual. “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,” Butler contended.
“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,” Buttler added.
Butler also said, “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.”
Butler’s wife and Arcade Fire bandmate also issued a statement, in which she expressed support for her husband. 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,” she said.