By Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent
Heavy metal band Megadeth have parted company with bassist David Ellefson following allegations of sexual misconduct.
Ellefson, who founded the group in 1983 alongside guitarist Dave Mustaine, was accused of attempting to groom an underage girl online.
He denied any wrongdoing.
— Megadeth (@Megadeth) May 24, 2021
The band released a statement on Monday announcing Ellefson was no longer a member of Megadeth.
They said: “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. 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.”
The statement was signed by Mustaine.
Ellefson previously denied the allegations on his Instagram account, which has now been made private.
He called the messages “private, adult interactions that were taken out of context and manipulated to inflict maximum damage to my reputation, my career and family”.
Ellefson, 56, formed Megadeth with Mustaine in Los Angeles and was a member until 2002, then re-joined in 2010.
Megadeath are considered one of the “big four” American thrash metal bands alongside Metallica, Anthrax and Slayer.