David Ellefson has broken his silence following his dismissal from Megadeth earlier this week. The band’s decision to part ways with the bassist came after sexually explicit photos and video of Ellefson leaked online this month along with allegations that he had been grooming a fan, which he vehemently denies.
“Recently, a very private video was illegally posted on the internet and false allegations were made against me,” Ellefson says in a statement to Rolling Stone. “The actions in the video were between two consenting adults and were recorded without my knowledge. I am working with Scottsdale Police Department in their investigation into charges regarding revenge pornography to be filed against the person who posted this video. Also, my lawyers are preparing a defamation lawsuit to be filed against this person. This person will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“I am taking this time to be with my family,” he continued. “I wish my bandmates the best with their upcoming tour.”
Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine announced the band’s decision to “officially part ways” with the bassist, who originally joined the group in 1983 and had periods in and out of the band in the intervening decades, on Monday. “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 singer and guitarist wrote. “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 shared a statement from the woman he claimed was the recipient of his online messages. “People are sharing misinformation and the situation is getting out of hand without the truth being out there,” she wrote. “Yes, those video calls did happen, but I was the one to initate [sic] them 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.” Rolling Stone has been unable to independently verify her statement.
Megadeth will kick off a tour with Lamb of God, dubbed the Metal Tour of the Year, on August 20th in Austin. They’re also set to appear at Slipknot’s Knotfest in September. They have not yet announced a replacement for Ellefson.
Neither Ellefson’s lawyer nor a rep for Scottsdale Police Department immediately responded to a request for comment.