Former Megadeth bassist David Ellefson has responded in a new statement to the allegations of grooming that arose after sexually graphic exchanges between Ellefson and a female fan were leaked online earlier this month.

“Recently, a very private video was illegally posted on the internet and false allegations were made against me,” Ellefson said in an official statement. “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,” the statement continued. “I wish my bandmates the best with their upcoming tour.”

Earlier this month, sexually explicit messages and video footage involving Ellefson and an unidentified woman who is not his wife were leaked online. The woman was rumored to be underage, leading people to accuse the 56-year-old bassist of grooming.

Ellefson vehemently denied the allegations in a previous statement, referring to the exchanges as “private, adult interactions that were taken out of context and manipulated to inflict maximum damage to my reputation my career and family."

The bassist also included a post that appeared to be from the woman involved in the exchange, who denied any sexual conduct on Ellefson’s part and claimed that she she “was the one to initiate” the video calls and “was always a consenting adult” when they took place. She added that she was “not a victim, and I have not been groomed in the slightest.”

Nevertheless, Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine announced on Monday that the band had parted ways with Ellefson. “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 said in a statement shared on social media. “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.”

Megadeth will embark on their rescheduled Metal Tour of the Year in August with co-headliners Lamb of God and supporting acts Trivium and In Flames. Their 16th studio album, tentatively titled The Sick, the Dying … and the Dead!, is reportedly nearing completion.

 

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