David Ellefson has parted ways with the Megadeth following the leak of messages and explicit videos featuring the married bassist and another woman.
"We are informing our fans that David Ellefson is no longer playing with Megadeth and that we are officially parting ways with him," said Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine in a statement today (Monday 24 May).
"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.
"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. It is almost complete."
In a statement on 10 May following the leak of the video and messages via social media, 56-year-old Ellefson wrote: "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 authorised to have them or share them. 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 continued.
Ellefson joined Megadeth in 1983 and remained a constant until the band's brief breakup in 2002, rejoining the band in 2010 before recording the album Thirteen the following year. Ellefson recorded 12 studio albums with Megadeth in total, including 1990's seminal Rust In Peace.
Ellefson recorded a solo album in 2019 and a covers collection the following year. In recent years he also became a Lutheran Christian pastor.
It's currently unclear whether Ellefson's work on the band's forthcoming album (working title: The Sick, the Dying... and the Dead) will now be retracked by another musician.
pic.twitter.com/ioVveK1UXpMay 24, 2021