- 25 May 21
The co-founder of Megadeth has been accused of sexually grooming a minor.
Megadeth have parted company with bassist and co-founder David Ellefson after he was accused of sexually grooming an underage girl online.
The band announced the news on their Instagram last night. This development comes two weeks after the allegations against Ellefson first came to light.
“We do not take this decision lightly,” the band said in their statement on Instagram which was signed by Dave Mustaine. “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.”
The band also said that they, “cannot wait to share our brand new music with the world. It is almost complete.” The band are set to tour with Lamb of God this summer.
Earlier in the month, explicit images and videos were leaked from a conversation between Ellefson and a woman who was allegedly underage. The bassist denied allegations that he was attempting to groom a minor.
He addressed the allegations on his Instagram saying, “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 woman allegedly involved also denied claims that she was a minor, or that Ellefson was attempting to groom her, in a statement which was included in Ellefson’s Instagram post.
“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.”
Ellefson and the woman’s statements have since been deleted and the bassist’s Instagram is now private.
When the allegations were brought forward, the band were slow to come to Ellefson’s defence or condemn him. In a statement on their Instagram they said, “We are aware of the recent developments regarding David Ellefson and are 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.”
“As the situation unfolds, it is important that all voices be heard clearly and respectfully. We look forward to the truth coming to light.”
Ellefson formed Megadeth in Los Angeles with Dave Mustaine in 1983 and was a member until 2002 when Mustaine ended the band for medical reasons. Mustaine reformed the group in 2004, however Ellefson was omitted from the line-up.
The bassist sued Mustaine in the same year for $18.5 million over merchandise and publishing royalties. The case was dismissed in 2005 and he rejoined the group in 2010. The band has not revealed any replacements for Ellefson as of yet.