Artist News

Megadeth fire bassist David Ellefson following accusations of sexual misconduct

By | Published on Wednesday 26 May 2021

David Ellefson

Megadeth have fired bassist David Ellefson, following allegations that he groomed an underage girl into taking part in sexual activity on a video call – allegations he denies.

In a statement posted to the band’s official Twitter account, band leader Dave Mustaine says: “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”.

Sexually explicit text messages and video clips featuring Ellefson and an unnamed woman, whom some claimed to be underage, emerged online earlier this month. The musician admitted that they were real, but denied that the woman had been underage and insisted that everything that happened was consensual.

He said in a statement released on Instagram (since made private) that the messages and video were “certainly embarrassing” but showed “private, adult interactions that were taken out of context and manipulated to inflict maximum damage to my reputation, my career and family”. The video clips, he said, were “released with ill intention by a third party who was not authorised to have them or share them”.

Another (now deleted) statement was released on Instagram purportedly by the woman involved, who said “those video calls did happen, but I was the one to initiate it and never was I underage, I was always a consenting adult … I have not been groomed in the slightest”.

Megadeth released their own statement as the posts began to circulate earlier this month, saying that they were “watching developments closely”.

Ellefson was a founder member of Megadeth in 1983. After a brief break up in the early 2000s, he did not return when they reformed in 2004. However, he did eventually rejoin in 2010.

The band are set to begin a co-headline US tour with Lamb Of God in August. In his new statement, Mustaine also said that their new album is “almost complete”. Ellefson has been involved in the recording of that album.