Megadeth bassist David Ellefson has called an online interaction with a young woman “embarrassing,” but insisted that a leaked video doesn’t tell the whole story. Both Ellefson and the woman issued statements after the veteran metal musician was accused of grooming in relation to the “private and personal conversations and interactions.”
Video of Ellefson and the woman engaging in an online encounter apparently surfaced over the weekend, showing the thrash legend in compromising sexual situations. The 56-year-old, who has been married for 27 years, acknowledged his involvement with the woman, but clarified that she was not underage, as some have surmised, and that it was consensual.
Ellefson’s full statement via his Instagram account reads as follows:
“Dear Fans & Friends,
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. 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 other party involved has made a statement which you can see below. I thank her for doing so and hope that this clarifies that the situation was not at all as presented.
Humbly Yours, David Ellefson”
Along with his own post, Ellefson shared a statement from the young woman in question. She confirmed that the interactions took place, but insisted she wasn’t “groomed” by Ellefson:
“I’m the girl people are talking about in the posts about David Ellefson right now and I just want to tell my side of the story because people are sharing misinformation and the situation is getting out of hand without the truth being out there. Yes, those video calls did happen, but I was the one to initate them and never was I underage, I was always a consenting adult. Nothing inappropriate ever happened before that. It was all consensual, I’m not a victim and I have not been groomed in the slightest as I was the one to initiate it. I was just naive enough to record him and share it with a friend without his permission. In the end, it was all consensual and all online. I don’t know how it got to this point, but a lot of information is being left out by the people purposely trying to harm him. I would ask that anyone sharing these personal private videos or any misinformation about them to please stop.”
The embarrassing situation comes just days after Ellefson announced his new on-demand video podcast, Backstage with David Ellefson, and a week after Megadeth announced the rescheduled 2021 dates of their co-headlining North American tour with Lamb of God. The thrash metal legends have also been putting the finishing touches on a new album, their first since 2016’s Dystopia.
Update: Megadeth have issued a band statement, writing in part, “[We] are watching developments closely … There are clearly aspects of David’s life that he has kept to himself.” The full statement can be seen here.
Note: David Ellefson has since set his Instagram account to private.