Megadeth bassist David Ellefson is no longer in the band.
Frontman Dave Mustaine tweeted Monday afternoon that Ellefson “is no longer playing with Megadeth” and that they are “officially parting ways with him.”
“We do not take this decision lightly,” the statement reads.
The announcement comes a few weeks after a series of video calls leaked online which purported to show Ellefson interacting with and grooming an underage girl. In a since-deleted Instagram post, Ellefson acknowledged the existence of the videos, but denied that the other party was underage, referring to the calls as “private, adult interactions.”
“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 wrote.
In Megadeth’s statement, Mustaine writes that he and Ellefson had a “strained relationship,” and suggests that the allegations tipped the scales in deciding to part ways with the bassist.
“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,” Mustaine writes.
Megadeth is currently scheduled to hit the road with Lamb of God, Trivium and In Flames this summer, and it appears Ellefson’s departure will not affect those plans.
“We look forward to seeing our fans on the road this summer,” Mustaine writes. “We cannot wait to share our brand new music with the world. It is almost complete.”
Mustaine is now the only founding Megadeth member still in the band.
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