Into a new one Pitchfork report, Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler has been accused of entering into “an ongoing abusive relationship” with a woman with the pseudonymous name Sabina, which began when she was a 22-year-old college 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 detailed past sexual relationships with the musician that they “began to find inappropriate given the differences in age, power dynamics and context in which they occurred.” All five accusers were at least 13 years younger than Butler when the alleged abuse took place.
In the new article, Sabina describes meeting Butler in Montreal in the summer of 2015, when she was a recently divorced waitress and college student. While the pair initially bonded over literature and poetry (“I thought I was so intellectual,” Sabina says in the report), the relationship soon turned sexual.
Butler was “emotionally abusive, manipulative, toxic and used his dynamic power to exploit my body at times that suited him. He met me when I was so vulnerable,” says Sabina. “Overall it was an abusive dynamic. It was really aggressive and I felt like I just had to do what he said. I wasn’t really comfortable with some of the things he asked me to do, but I did them anyway. And that is ultimately degrading,” she continues.
The article goes on to detail how Butler pressured Sabina to let her boyfriend and her roommate live alone “with the implication that they could have sex more easily that way”, expected her to be “available for sex in whatever shape whatever” on his schedule, sending her unsolicited, sexually explicit photos and generally making her feel like she was “just a body.”
She concludes: “If you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, you feel better telling yourself that this was all for something, that their outbursts were mistakes and that you meant something to the abuser, that you still have 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 accusation. The complete text of his earlier response, in which he claims that “each of these interactions was mutual and always between consenting adults”, is available here.
If you or someone you know is suffering from sexual abuse, please contact the RAINN National assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.