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Megadeth Is 'Officially Parting Ways' With Bassist David Ellefson After Reports of Leaked Graphic Videos

Megadeth
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David Ellefson, Dirk Verbeuren, Dave Mustaine, and Kiko Loureiro of musical group Megadeth attend The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on Feb. 12, 2017 in Los Angeles.

Megadeth and bassist David Ellefson are going their separate ways. Frontman Dave Mustane explained the decision in a statement posted to the band's Twitter and Instagram accounts on Monday (May 24).

"We are informing our fans that David Ellefson is no longer playing with Megadeth and that we are officially parting ways with him. We do not take this decision lightly," the statement begins. "While we do not know every detail of what occurred, with an already strained relationship, what has already been revealed is enough to make working together impossible moving forward."

"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," the statement continued. "It's almost complete."

Megadeth first issued a statement regarding Ellefson on May 10 after reports of sexually explicit videos featuring the bassist with a woman who was not his wife surfaced.

“We are aware of the recent statements regarding David Ellefson, and are watching developments closely,” said the band at the time. "As it relates to creativity and business, we are all familiar with one another. 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 also addressed the reports on his Instagram account at the time, which he has since made private. The bassist reportedly denied reports that he had groomed a minor, and called the videos "private, adult interactions that were taken out of context and manipulated to inflict maximum damage to my reputation, my career and my family."

He also shared a statement he said was from the unnamed woman, in which she reportedly said, "I was always a consenting adult. Nothing inappropriate ever happened before that ... I'm not a victim and I have not been groomed in the slightest as I was the one to initiate it."

According to the bassist's statement, the "private and personal conversations and interactions" were "released with ill intention by a third party who was not authorized to share them."

In February, Megadeth announced that they are hitting the road this summer for a tour across North America with co-headliners Lamb of God. The tour begins June 12, and ends Aug. 1.

See Megadeth's latest statement about Ellefson below.