Megadeth co-founder Dave Mustaine says the band will be moving forward without David Ellefson (Picture: Redferns)
Megadeth has announced that bassist David Ellefson is no longer a member of the group following allegations of grooming.
Ellefson, 56, has vehemently denied grooming after explicit screenshots and videos emerged online earlier this month.
Now, his former bandmates have released a statement confirming that the musician has departed the metal band.
Dave Mustaine, lead singer, guitarist and co-founder of the group, said on their behalf: ‘We are informing our fans that David Ellefson is no longer playing with Megadeth and that we are officially parting ways with him. 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.’
They added: ‘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.’
It comes after the band, also consisting of Kiko Loureiro and Dirk Verbeuren, previously said they were ‘aware’ of the allegations against Ellefson and would be ‘watching developments closely’.
The group added: ‘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.’
This is the second time Ellefson has left Megadeth – the musician had been with them for 19 years until 2002 when they disbanded. The group soon got back together but without Ellefson who had a royalties dispute.
Ellefson addressed the grooming allegations in a statement released on May 10 and said that the footage had been taken out of context.
‘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 said.
Ellefson has denied the grooming claims (Picture: FilmMagic)
‘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.’
He also shared a statement from the female involved, saying she wanted to share her side of the story ‘because 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 initiate 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.
‘In the end, it was all consensual and all online. I don’t know how it got to this point, but a lot of information is being left out by the people purposely trying to harm him. I would ask that anyone sharing these personal private videos or any misinformation about them to please stop.’
Ellefson and guitarist Mustaine formed Megadeth in Los Angeles in 1983. Ellefson married wife Julie in 1993 and they share two children.
If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us celebtips[email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.
For more stories like this, check our entertainment page.
Follow Metro.co.uk Entertainment on Twitter and Facebook for the latest celeb and entertainment updates. You can now also get Metro.co.uk articles sent straight to your device. Sign up for our daily push alerts here.