Heavy metal icons Megadeth have parted ways with David Ellefson, it was announced by Dave Mustaine and the band in a statement shared to social media.
The news comes after Ellefson found himself embroiled in controversy stemming from accusations levied at Ellefson regarding grooming an underage girl — accusations Ellefson denied, per the NME.
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
— Megadeth (@Megadeth) May 24, 2021
A bit more on the controversy surrounding David Ellefson, per the NME:
“While certainly embarrassing, I want to address it as openly and honestly as possible,” he wrote in a social media post on his Instagram account, which has since been made private.
“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 woman allegedly involved also released a statement, which Ellefson shared, saying that she was never underage when the conversations took place.
“Yes, those video calls did happen, but I 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’m not a victim and I have not been groomed in the slightest as I was the one to initiate it,” she said.
“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.”
Ellefson was a co-founder of Megadeth alongside Mustaine after Mustaine left Metallica, and remained a key member of the band for decades. After a legal spat between the two regarding royalties in the mid-2000s, Ellefson rejoined Megadeth in 2010.
As of now, Megadeth and Lamb of God are set to embark on their rescheduled co-headlining tour, which begins in August — though Megadeth now has to find a new bassist for the tour.