David Ellefson is no longer a member of Megadeth. The news was posted by the thrash metal giants on social media, and comes two weeks after the bassist denied allegations of "grooming" after “personal conversations and interactions” were leaked online (opens in new tab).
In the statement, Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine says, "We are informing our fans that David Ellefson is no longer playing with Megadeth. 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."
Ellefson denied the allegations, which came after graphic texts and video footage were shared on Twitter. While he admitted on his Instagram account (opens in new tab) – which is now private – that “adult interactions” had taken place, he claimed they were “taken out of context and manipulated to inflict maximum damage to my reputation, my career and family."
The woman involved also came forward to deny the suggestion that she was underage at the time the video calls took place, saying, "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."
Megadeth had originally responded cautiously to the allegations, 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 joined the fledgling Megadeth in 1983, when the band were still called Fallen Angels, replacing bassist Matt Kisselstein.