Megadeth have officially parted ways with bassist David Ellefson.
The band revealed the news on social media with a statement by frontman Dave Mustaine.
“We are informing our fans that David Ellefson is no longer playing with Megadeth and that we are officially parting ways with him,” the statement says. “We do not take this decision lightly.”
He continues “While we do not know every detail of what occurred, with an already strained relationship, what has already been revealed now is enough to make working together impossible moving forward. We look forward to seeing our fans on the road this summer, and we cannot wait to share our brand new music with the world. It is almost complete.”
The news comes after several interactions between Ellefson and a woman leaked online, which included compromising images of Ellefson. A person detailed those exchanged on Instagram, but the messages have since been deleted. Ellefson admitted his involvement in the “private and personal conversations” that were made public but maintained they were “adult interactions that were taken out of context.”
His full statement reads:
“Dear Fans & Friends,
As you may or not know, some private and personal conversations and interactions have surfaced online, released with ill intention by a third party who was not authorized to have them or share them. While certainly embarrassing, I want to address it as openly and honestly as possible. As much as it’s not something I’m proud of, these were private, adult interactions that were taken out of context and manipulated to inflict maximum damage to my reputation my career and family. The other party involved has made a statement which you can see below. I thank her for doing so and hope that this clarifies that the situation was not at all as presented.
Humbly Yours, David Ellefson”
Ellefson also shared a statement from the young woman in question. She confirmed the interactions, but denied being groomed by the musician.
“I’m the girl people are talking about in the posts about David Ellefson right now and I just want to tell my side of the story because people are sharing misinformation and the situation is getting out of hand without the truth being out there. Yes, those video calls did happen, but I was the one to initate them and never was I underage, I was always a consenting adult. Nothing inappropriate ever happened before that. It was all consensual, I’m not a victim and I have not been groomed in the slightest as I was the one to initiate it. I was just naive enough to record him and share it with a friend without his permission. In the end, it was all consensual and all online. I don’t know how it got to this point, but a lot of information is being left out by the people purposely trying to harm him. I would ask that anyone sharing these personal private videos or any misinformation about them to please stop.”
Read Megadeth’s statement below.
— Megadeth (@Megadeth) May 24, 2021