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Megadeth Issue Statement About Bassist David Ellefson’s Alleged Sexual Misconduct

Portrait of David Ellefson from Megadeth, London, 14th November 2015. (Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns)

UPDATE 5/24: Megadeth announced they have fired Ellefson. Read the full story here.

Megadeth, the metal band formed by Dave Mustaine after his ouster from Metallica, has released a statement about sexual misconduct allegations facing bassist and band co-founder David Ellefson, who recently denied that he was “grooming” an underage girl through online messages and videos.

The accusations first surfaced on May 10, after explicit screenshots and videos circulated on social media, with some commenters saying the female he was interacting with was underage. In an Instagram statement posted on his now-private account, Ellefson said the clips were “private, adult interactions that were taken out of context and manipulated to inflict maximum damage to my reputation, my career and family.”

Ellefson said the clips were “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.”

The woman in the case also posted that “Yes, those video calls did happen, but I was the one who initiated them, and never was I underage, I was always a consenting adult. Nothing inappropriate ever happened before that.” The unnamed woman posted under the IG name edophosauruses and the comment has since been deleted.

“We are aware of the recent statements 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 this situation unfolds, it is important that all voices be heard clearly and respectfully. We look forward to the truth coming to light,” Megadeth’s statement read. You can see it below.

Ellefson initially left Megadeth in 2002 and returned in 2010.

He is married with two adult children, and last week launched an on-demand video podcast called Backstage with David Ellefson.