(CelebrityAccess) — Heavy metal band Megadeth announced they have parted ways with longtime bassist David Ellefson after he was accused of sexual misconduct towards a minor.
In a social media post, the band’s frontman and lead guitarist Dave Mustaine wrote: “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.”
The split follows accusations via social media that Ellefson had communicated inappropriately with an allegedly underaged girl, including through private messages and shared sexually explicit videos of himself that were later shared online.
According to Variety, Ellefson denied the allegations in a post on his Instagram which has since been made private, stating that the situation was taken out of context and manipulated to do “maximum damage” to his reputation.
In the post Ellefson claimed the woman he was chatting with said she was an adult and he shared screenshots of a message from her that purportedly refuted the allegations.
“Yes, those video calls did happen, but I was the one to initiate it 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,” the woman apparently wrote in the social media post.
Ellefson was a founding member of Megadeth and first stepped away from the group after almost two decades in 2002 and later rejoined the reformed group in 2010.