Megadeth Part Ways With David Ellefson, Release Statement
UPDATE: Ellefson has since made his first statement since being removed from Megadeth, revealing that he's pursuing "revenge porn" charges over the incident described below.
Megadeth publicly ended their working relationship with longtime bassist David Ellefson in a statement on Monday (May 24), two weeks after controversy erupted over Ellefson's apparent involvement in a sex scandal that prompted him to deny he allegedly "groomed" a girl online while she was still underage.
"We are informing our fans that David Ellefson is no longer playing with Megadeth and that we are officially parting ways with him," the veteran metal band's message, attributed to frontman Dave Mustaine and the group, began. "We do not take this decision lightly."
Megadeth added, "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."
Earlier this month, several interactions seemingly made between Ellefson and a woman via video call and text, including compromising images of the musician, leaked on social media. A person on Instagram claimed to have details of those exchanges — they provided screenshots of the supposed correspondence between Ellefson and the woman in question, who was reputedly underage when the two first started communicating but over 18 when the alleged videoconference took place. Other purported exchanges between the musician and more alleged underage fans also were revealed. On May 10, Ellefson admitted his involvement in "private and personal conversations" that had been made public but maintained they were "adult interactions that were taken out of context." A week later, the bassist deleted his Twitter account and set his Instagram to private.
The woman in question also posted online after their exchanges went public, asserting that she was a consenting adult and not underage when the video interaction took place.
On first learning of the situation surrounding Ellefson, Megadeth issued an initial statement saying, in part, that they were "watching developments closely. As it relates to creativity and business, we are all familiar with one another. However, there are clearly aspects of David's private life that he has kept to himself."
On Monday, however, the band's final decision was clear. It's not the first time the two parties have separated — though he's a Megadeth co-founder, Ellefson missed the first six years of the act's post-2004 reformation. Loudwire has reached out to Ellefson's team for comment.
Megadeth will hit the road for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic put a stop on touring with rescheduled Metal Tour of the Year dates this summer alongside Lamb of God, Trivium and In Flames. Get tickets at metaltouroftheyear.com.
Read Megadeth's complete May 24 statement below.
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.
May 24th, 2021