Megadeth’s founding bassist David Ellefson was fired from the band on Monday, May 25 for allegations of grooming and “an already strained relationship” with the band’s frontman, Dave Mustaine. Today, Ellefson issued a statement to Rolling Stone in which he announced his intention to press charges against the person who brought the allegations against him, and to sue them for defamation.
He stated, “Recently, a very private video was illegally posted on the internet and false allegations were made against me. The actions in the video were between two consenting adults and were recorded without my knowledge. I am working with Scottsdale Police Department in their investigation into charges regarding revenge pornography to be filed against the person who posted this video. Also, my lawyers are preparing a defamation lawsuit to be filed against this person. This person will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I am taking this time to be with my family. I wish my bandmates the best with their upcoming tour.
The person who accused Ellefson of grooming was anonymous at the time through a now-deleted Instagram account called @woahworst, who said that there was leaked video evidence of highly-explicit video calls and conversations between the famous bassist and a woman who ‘woahworst’ alleged Ellefson had met when she was 17.
When the accusations came to light, Ellefson responded, “As you may or not know, some private and personal conversations and interactions have surfaced online, released with ill intention by a third party who was not authorized to have them or share them. 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 that Ellefson says was involved in the relationship added a statement of her own, in which she denies that there was any grooming. “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,” She stated. “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. I was just naive enough to record him and share it with a friend without his permission.”
No further information has come out about the interactions between Ellefson and the woman, and at this time, no crime has been proven. However, Ellefson was shown to be unfaithful to his wife of 28 years, Julie, through interactions that were allegedly consensual and allegedly entirely online. The incident also speaks against Ellefson’s religious faith, since he has previously been known to run church services as a Lutheran pastor.
In Dave Mustaine’s statement to fans concerning the band’s decision to leave Ellefson, he said, “We are informing our fans that David Ellefson is no longer playing with Megadeth and that we are officially parting ways with him.vWe 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 is now enough to make working together impossible moving forward.”
Photo credit: Mauricio Alvarado