Dave Ellefson has spoken out about 2021 the sex scandal that led to his departure from Megadeth.
"There’s two sides to it," the bassist told Metal Hammer. "One: when you bare it all, you’ve got nothing to hide. F**k it, now you can truly be yourself! We all come into the world with our birthday suit on, so what are we ashamed of? What I feel the worst about is the embarrassment that it caused some people, like my family, who didn’t deserve it. Out of respect for them, I’m going to keep the family dynamic off the table [during interviews]. That’s at their request."
Ellefson then claimed that Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine was unwilling to let the scandal run its course.
"Dave, his manager and his lawyer [called me after the scandal]," Ellefson said. "There was a sentiment from one of them saying, 'Let’s step back, let Ellefson deal with it. It leaves the door open for him to come back.' Dave didn’t want that. He made his decision and it is what it is."
The bassist landed in hot water after it was revealed that he had an online sexual relationship with a Dutch teenager. She recorded videos of Ellefson masturbating in front of her via video chat which were later leaked on social media. At the time, there were allegations that this person was underage. Ellefson claimed the teen was 19 and that the videos were taken without his consent in a police report filed with police in Arizona in May 2021. The bassist also denied allegations that he "groomed" the person in an Instagram post, Blabbermouth reported. The note has since been deleted.
Mustaine provided his side of the story in a 2022 interview with Metal Hammer.
"I have made mistakes myself and so I know what it feels like to have people gunning for you. But what we had to remember is that Megadeth has a lot of moving parts to it. There are four bandmembers; you've got their families, their management companies, the agencies, all of their technicians and on and on and on," he said.
"It was a hard decision that had to be made," Mustaine added. "There were a lot of people involved and I had to make a decision, because unfortunately, when you're the leader, you're the one that has to suck it up and face the music."
The frontman said he's forgiven Ellefson, but had no plans to bring him back into the fold.
"I've forgiven him before when he sued me and I'll forgive him a thousand times," Mustaine said. "I just won't play music with him anymore."
More details from Ellefson's new interview will be available in the edition of Metal Hammer coming out on Jan. 4. The scandal didn't end Ellefson's music career. He also told the outlet about his new death metal project Dieth.
Mustaine had Testament bassist Steve DiGirgio re-record all of Ellefson's bass lines on the latest Megadeth album The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead! James LoMenzo became Ellefson's permanent replacement in 2022. He appeared with the band during a recent episode of the YouTube ghost hunting show Paranormal Prison.