David Ellefson, the bassist and co-founder of Megadeth, has been fired from the group following allegations that he had groomed an underage girl online.
On Monday (24 May), the American thrash metal band announced on social media that they were “officially parting ways” with Ellefson.
“We do not take this decision lightly,” frontman Dave Mustaine wrote in a statement. “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’s 2021 tour plans will still go ahead, as will the release of their upcoming record. However, it is unclear if Ellefson’s contributions to the LP will remain intact or if a different bassist will re-record his parts.
“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,” Mustaine continued. “It is almost complete.”
Earlier this month, Ellefson released a statement on social media denying allegations of sexual misconduct after explicit videos and screenshots of correspondences that allegedly involve the 56-year-old musician and a woman surfaced on the internet.
“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,” he wrote in his statement.
Ellefson has since deactivated his Instagram account, taking down the statement with it.
Ellefson also reportedly shared a statement from the woman in question that claimed any interaction she had with the former Megadeth bassist was “all consensual and all online”.