Earlier this week, we reported on the bassist giving his first post-Megadeth interview, though he was not directly asked about his firing from Megadeth in that conversation. Now, in a separate interview, Ellefson has discussed his exit from Megadeth.
Speaking with SiriusXM’s Eddie Trunk, Ellefson opened up about the sexually compromising incident with a young woman that led to his ousting, as well as his relationship with Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine.
For context, Ellefson was initially accused of grooming an underage fan for an online sexual encounter. Videos of the encounter were leaked online by a separate party, leading to Ellefson to issue a statement that included a testimonial from the woman herself, who affirmed that the sessions were “consensual” and that she was of legal age.
“The night [the videos were leaked online], a couple of people said, ‘Hey, don’t say anything,’” Ellefson said. “In particular, the Megadeth camp didn’t want me to say anything. But my legal [team] said, ‘Hey, I think you should say something. I think some people have done some really shitty things here and made some false allegations about you, and you have every right to defend yourself.’ And I did.”
He continued: “Ultimately, that led to my dismissal from Megadeth. But I have every right, as anyone does, to defend yourself, especially when somebody is making false allegations about you like that.
Ellefson explained that the initial plan was to issue a joint statement from Megadeth and himself. “Of course, that was not what happened,” he said. “So I was disappointed in probably the way it went down.”
Mustaine then announced that Ellefson was no longer Megadeth’s bassist, going so far as to have someone else re-record his bass parts for the band’s upcoming album, The Sick, the Dead and the Dying. Despite this, Ellefson insists that there’s no “ill will” between the two parties. He also said there was no rising tension between himself and Mustaine leading up to the incident.
“Dave and I are grown men, and we have opinions,” Ellefson added. “It’s not the thing where it’s just Dave and three side guys when it’s me and the band. And apparently, they didn’t want that anymore — they wanted it to not be that.”
He continued: “It’s, like, ‘Hey, we don’t want you here. There’s the door. Don’t come to work on Monday.’ So, it’s, like, ‘Okay. Fine.’ And that’s just how I viewed it, and that’s how I view it today. I don’t have any sour grapes over it, and I’m not bitter about it.”