David Ellefson of Megadeth performs during the Stone Free Festival at The O2 Arena on June 16, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Chiaki Nozu/WireImage)
Monday the iconic Metal group Megadeth released a statement saying that they are firing co-founder and bassist David Ellefson over allegations of sexual misconduct.
Over the last several weeks Ellefson, 56, has been defending himself against allegations that he was grooming an underaged girl online. Ellefson has vehemently denied the claims, stating that the person was of age and strongly condemned the sharing of the messages saying those who circulated them were “not authorized to have them or share them.”
In a May 10th statement the band originally took a neutral stance saying that, “As this situation unfolds, it is important that all voices be heard clearly and respectfully. We look forward to the truth coming to light.” However, in a statement released Monday, siting concurrent preexisting conflicts, the group said that the allegations would be enough for them to part ways.
“We are informing our fans that David Ellefson is no longer playing with Megadeth and that we are officially parting ways with him. We do not take this decision lightly. 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,” tweeted Ellefson founding partner Dave Mustaine on the band’s account.
— Megadeth (@Megadeth) May 24, 2021
Videos of Ellefson masturbating and along with screenshots of flirtatious messages were the source of these accusations after Ellefson was accused on grooming the recipient. Ellefson says the leaked videos were “private, adult interactions that were taken out of context and manipulated to inflict maximum damage to my reputation, my career and family.”
The supposed woman released a statement of her own confirming the video chats had happened but that she was “the one to initiate them and never was I underage. I was always a consenting adult. Nothing inappropriate ever happened before that. It was all consensual, I am not a victim and I have not been groomed in the slightest.”
Both Ellefson and the woman’s statements have since been deleted and his social media accounts have switched to private.
Megadeth was first founded by Mustaine and Ellefson in 1983 and broke up in 2002 when Mustaine had to deal with a medical condition. Ellfeson rejoined the band in 2010. The group has planned the “Metal Tour of the Year” with Lamb of God starting in August.