David Ellefson has discussed the fallout surrounding the sex scandal that led to his dismissal from Megadeth.
David Ellefson, the founding bassist of the Grammy-winning thrash band, was dismissed following allegations of sexual misconduct involving a Dutch teenager.
“We are informing our fans that David Ellefson is no longer playing with Megadeth and that we are officially parting ways with him,” Singer-guitarist Dave Mustaine said in a statement via the band’s Twitter at the time.
“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.”
On May 10th, two sexually charged videos of Ellefson, 56, were leaked by an anonymous third party on Twitter; one video revealed him masturbating. Additionally, there were leaked screenshots of intimate messages exchanged between Ellefson and a fan, who has since been identified as a 19-year-old woman. Ellefson was accused of “grooming” the other party involved, an allegation he vehemently denies.
In the fallout, Ellefson took to Instagram to address the leaks. “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 wrote.
“The other party involved has made a statement which you can see… I thank her for doing so and hope that this clarifies that the situation was not at all as presented.”
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The 19-year-old woman addressed the leaks and admitted to recording the videos. She maintained that all interactions with Ellefson were consensual.
“Yes, those video calls did happen, but I was the one who initiated them, and never was I underage,” she stated. “I was always a consenting adult. Nothing inappropriate ever happened before that.”
During a recent interview with Trunk Nation, Ellefson discussed the scandal that led to his dismissal. The rocker maintained that he “didn’t do anything wrong.” He also noted that he “didn’t even know” what the word “grooming” was.
“And any allegations of anything being illegal [are false],” he said. “There was nothing. And that’s why I immediately hired a criminal lawyer. I went right to the police department. And just for the record, the bad guy doesn’t go to the police department.”
When asked whether his family was “supportive” and “understanding” following the scandal coming to light, Ellefson admits. “Not so supportive, not so understanding.”
He continued, “I mean, dad’s in a rock band, and not just any band – Megadeth. Let’s face it: we’ve been a band with a history.
“And this isn’t to discolor or paint anything on the current Megadeth at all, because, obviously, 2021 is not the way it was in 1986.”
Ellefson went on to assert that throughout his career, he’s attempted to maintain transparency about his lifestyle.
“We were very transparent in things – when things happened in our personal lives and things happened in the group, we were always pretty open about it. And I’ve talked openly about getting clean from drugs and booze years ago and all of these things,” he says. “On the home life, again, look – I was in Megadeth to start, and then the families come after.”
He continued, “I think there is a reconciling of the lifestyles, that it’s like, ‘OK, dad’s off at the circus being the rock ‘n’ roll guy and all that comes with that,’ including a very comfortable life that affords you opportunities you would not get in any other life.
“At the same time, it certainly doesn’t give license to go out and misbehave.”
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