Feist is leaving Arcade Fire‘s We tour following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against the band’s lead singer, Win Butler. The “1234” singer made the announcement in an open letter published on her website Thursday.
Feist said that she will be departing from the European leg of the tour and made clear that she takes the allegations against Butler very seriously.
Late last month, Butler denied all allegations of sexual misconduct.
Feist began her statement, “To stay on tour would symbolize I was either defending or ignoring the harm caused by Win Butler and to leave would imply I was the judge and jury.”
“I was never here to stand for or with Arcade Fire — I was here to stand on my own two feet on a stage, a place I’ve grown to feel I belong, and I’ve earned as my own,” she continued. “I play for my band, my crew, their loved ones and all of our families, and the people who pay their hard-earned money to share space in the collective synergy that is a show.”
Feist also noted that the situation is one that “touches each of our lives.” While she added that there’s no “singular path to heal,” she said she plans to “navigate this” albeit imperfectly, she admitted.
“We all have a story within a spectrum ranging from baseline toxic masculinity to pervasive misogyny to actually being physically, psychologically, emotionally or sexually assaulted,” Feist shared. “This situation touches each of our lives and speaks to us in a language unique to each of our processing. There isn’t a singular path to heal when you’ve endured any version of the above, nor a singular path to rehabilitate the perpetrators. It can be a lonely road to make sense of ill-treatment.”
Adding, “I can’t solve that by quitting, and I can’t solve it by staying. But I can’t continue.”
Going forward, the singer, whose first name is Leslie, said she’s claiming her responsibility for the situation by choosing to go home.
“I’m imperfect and I will navigate this decision imperfectly, but what I’m sure of is the best way to take care of my band and crew and my family is to distance myself from this tour, not this conversation,” the indie pop musician explained. “The last two nights on stage, my songs made this decision for me. Hearing them through this lens was incongruous with what I’ve worked to clarify for myself through my whole career. I’ve always written songs to name my own subtle difficulties, aspire to my best self and claim responsibility when I need to. And I’m claiming my responsibility now and going home.”
Late last month, Butler denied all allegations of sexual misconduct. In a piece published by Pitchfork Saturday, three women and a person who uses they/them pronouns, accused the “Everything_Now” singer of engaging in “inappropriate” sexual interactions with them, given the age gap, power dynamics and the context in which the alleged acts occurred.
Throughout the article, three women – who were all described as devoted Arcade Fire fans — detailed alleged interactions they had with Butler while they ranged from the ages 18-23. According to the women, the events took place from 2016-2020 when the rock star was between the ages of 36-39.
A fourth person who uses the pronouns they/them claimed Butler sexually assaulted them, twice, in 2015. In the article, the victims detailed alleged instances of Butler requesting and sending unsolicited sexual images and videos. Butler allegedly showed up at their apartment and made unwanted sexual advances. And an incident where the “Unconditional I” singer allegedly put his hands in one of the victims’ pants during a car ride — which he denied.
After each account, the Arcade Fire singer denied or shared his version of the events. Following the article, Butler released a statement through crisis public relations expert, Risa Heller, where he denied the claims and apologized to his wife, Régine Chassagne, for having what he said were consensual relationships outside of their marriage.
“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,” the statement read.
“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 statement 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. 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.
He added, “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.”
Butler’s statement went on to say that he has struggled with mental health issues and “the ghosts of childhood abuse” and as a result, he started drinking. The “Ready To Start” singer added that it does not excuse his behavior and shared that he has been “working hard on myself,” through therapy, AA meetings and healing.
ET has reached out to both Feist and Butler’s reps for comment.
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