Original Megadeth bassist David Ellefson is denying grooming accusations after graphic exchanges with an apparently underage girl leaked.

"As you may or not know, some private and personal conversations and interactions have surfaced online, released with ill intention by a third party who was not authorized to have them or share them," Ellefson said in an earlier Instagram post before switching his account to private mode. "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."

The statement, which appears in a screenshot below, was paired with a post that appeared to be from the woman. She denied being underage when the video calls took place, describing any suggestion that she had been groomed by Ellefson as "misinformation."

Ellefson is the second-longest serving member of Megadeth, after fellow cofounder Dave Mustaine. His first stint with the group lasted from 1983 until 2002, when Ellefson had a falling out with Mustaine over royalties and control of the band name after a Mustaine solo album called The System Has Failed was released under the Megadeth banner. Ellefson was then absent for two consecutive Megadeth albums – 2007's United Abominations and 2009's Endgame – before returning for an ongoing second tenure in 2010.


The news broke as tickets for Megadeth's rescheduled fall 2021 U.S. shows as part of the Metal Tour of the Year went on sale. They'll be appearing on a bill with coheadliner Lamb of God, as well as support acts Trivium and In Flames, on dates set to begin this August in Austin.

Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler was part of the sessions for Megadeth's most recent studio effort, Dystopia. That 2016 album also featured sound work from longtime Lamb of God mixer Josh Wilbur. Megadeth are reportedly nearing completion on their 16th LP, which had a working title of The Sick, the Dying ... and the Dead!


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