Earlier this week, Megadeth announced that they were parting ways with their longtime bassist David Ellefson after a leaked video showed him taking part in a sexually explicit online encounter with a young woman. Now, the veteran thrash-metal musician has issued his first statement since the firing.
When the video first leaked, the bassist initially addressed the situation by stating, in part, “While certainly embarrassing, I want to address it as openly and honestly as possible. 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 also shared an apparent testimonial from the woman herself, who 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.”
Now, in a new statement issued to Rolling Stone, Ellefson put the focus on the criminal aspect of the leaked video rather than his dismissal from Megadeth:
“Recently, a very private video was illegally posted on the internet and false allegations were made against me. 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.”
Ellefson did go on to wish his “bandmates” well, despite the fact that frontman Dave Mustaine clearly stated that Megadeth was “officially parting ways” with the bassist:
“I am taking this time to be with my family. I wish my bandmates the best with their upcoming tour.”
In announcing that Ellefson was being let go from Megadeth, Mustaine also cited an “already strained relationship,” an aspect of the firing that Heavy Consequence examined in a timeline that looks back at various instances where the frontman and bassist butted heads.
The tour that Ellefson mentioned in his statement is Megadeth’s upcoming co-headlining North American outing with Lamb of God, which includes a stop at Slipknot’s Knotfest Iowa festival. At this point, no replacement has been named for Ellefson.