Megadeth has kicked out longtime bassist David Ellefson after allegations of sexual misconduct and pursuing minors.
The heavy metal band announced Ellefson’s dismissal on Monday via social media, speaking of “an already strained relationship” and saying it did not “take this decision lightly.”
“What has already been revealed now is enough to make working together impossible moving forward,” the statement read.
The band 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.”
Earlier this month, Ellefson came under fire after sexually explicit video footage he allegedly sent to a young woman leaked online.
The video prompted allegations that the bassist had “groomed” the woman and pursued underage fans by sending them inappropriate messages.
Ellefson denied that the recipient of the video was underage in a now-deleted Instagram post, calling the clips “private, adult interactions that were taken out of context and manipulated to inflict maximum damage to my reputation, my career and family.”
Ellefson, who is married, claimed the videos were “released with ill intention by a third party who was not authorized to have them or share them.”
He also shared a screenshot of a statement that was supposedly from the woman he sent the video to. She said she was not underage at the time the video was filmed and that she “was always a consenting adult.”
Megadeth responded to the initial allegations with a statement saying the band is “watching developments closely,” while adding there was much about Ellefson they didn’t know, Billboard reported.
“As it relates to creativity and business, we are all familiar with one another,” the statement read. “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 has since deactivated his Twitter account and made his Instagram and personal Facebook page private.