Megadeth have announced that they are “officially parting ways” with bassist David Ellefson, following recent online 'grooming' allegations.
In a new statement posted to Megadeth's various social media accounts, frontman Dave Mustaine reassures fans that the band “[did] 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,” the statement reads.
“We look forward to seeing out 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 released a statement via his Instagram account denying allegations that he had 'groomed' an underage girl. It came after a series of intimate videos and conversations were leaked on Twitter.
“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,” his statement read. “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.”
His comments were accompanied by screenshots of a statement from the woman in question, confirming that, “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.”
David Ellefson has since deactivated his Instagram account, and as such the post is no longer available.
In the wake of allegations earlier this month, Megadeth released an initial response, which read, “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.”