The rock band Megadeth has parted ways with its bassist David Ellefson following recent sexual misconduct allegations against the performer.
“We are informing our fans that David Ellefson is no longer playing with Megadeth and that we are officially parting ways with him,” Megadeth co-founder and lead guitarist Dave Mustaine wrote in a statement released on its social media accounts on Monday.
“We do not take this decision lightly,” the statement continued. “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.”
Earlier this month, Ellefson, 56, attempted to clear the air over speculation he was intimately involved in communications with a woman who wasn’t his wife after alleged sexually explicit messages and video surfaced online. According to People magazine, in his social media post, which has since been made private, Ellefson denied the speculation that he allegedly “groomed” an underage fan.
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“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,” Ellefson wrote in the lengthy caption. “While certainly embarrassing, I want to address it as openly and honestly as possible.”
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“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 continued. “The other party involved has made a statement which you can see below. I thank her for doing so and hope that this clarifies that the situation was not at all as presented.”
Ellefson accompanied his denial with an alleged screenshot of a statement from the woman with whom he was supposedly involved at the time.
In it, the woman admitted to recording the alleged intimate communications she had with Ellefson and called herself “naïve” for sharing them with a friend without the musician’s permission.
“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 purportedly stated.
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Megadeth quickly issued a statement on the situation, saying, “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.”
Ellefson and Mustaine co-founded Megadeth in 1983. The bassist was a member of the band until 2002, before he rejoined in 2010.
Ellefson has been married to his wife, Julie, for 27 years. The couple share two children, son Roman, 25, and daughter Athena, 22.
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Reps for Ellefson and Megadeth did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.