David Ellefson Knew He Was Out of Megadeth 10 Days Before Official Announcement
Additional details have emerged from the "revenge porn" complaint that former Megadeth bassist David Ellefson recently filed with Arizona's Scottsdale Police Department. Among them is a timeline from the musician indicating the Dave Mustaine-led metal band fired him 10 days before they announced it to the public.
Last month, the 56-year-old Ellefson was let go from the group following his involvement in a sex scandal that saw the online leak of footage of the bassist, taken from a two-way video call, masturbating alone in a hotel room. Further, leaked screenshots of text communications between Ellefson and the unseen woman on the other end of the exchange had some people suggesting she was underage when the two first met. However, both she and Ellefson claim she was 19 at the time of their first virtual sexual encounter.
Regardless, as reported on Monday (June 7) by The Arizona Republic, Megadeth notified the musician on May 14 that they would be dismissing him. They did so three days later, on May 17, but didn't publicize it until May 24 in a message credited to Mustaine.
"We are informing our fans that David Ellefson is no longer playing with Megadeth and that we are officially parting ways with him," the statement read. "We do not take this decision lightly."
It added, "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."
Ellefson told the local police department serving his suburban Phoenix-area home base that he first learned of the situation surrounding the leaked video and texts on May 9, when he received a text from someone alerting him to an email about an "internet matter." The musician then found that an Instagram user had posted "David Ellefson of Megadeth is a pedophile" on the photo and video-sharing social network.
The bassist quickly contacted Megadeth's management, who told him they'd had problems with the same Instagram user harassing other Megadeth members online in the past. Ellefson said he was told to "not do anything and sit tight" in hopes it that it would "blow over." However, by that evening, the "pedophile" post had gained traction across social media. Two hours later, the Instagram user shared the video.
The person who leaked the clip is not the same person who was video-chatting with Ellefson. Still, the person on the other end of the call, a Dutch woman whom the bassist first met in the Netherlands, "admitted to having made two or three videos [of the encounter] on FB Messenger” and “sharing with some friends,” but she wasn't sure how they got leaked to others.
"Recently, a very private video was illegally posted on the internet and false allegations were made against me," Ellefson said in a statement on May 26. "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."
Megadeth, sans Ellefson and with a new bassist who has yet to be announced, are touring this summer.