Megadeth have issued their first statement in response to the scandal surrounding an online exchange between bassist David Ellefson and a female fan.

"We are aware of the recent statements regarding David Ellefson, and are watching developments closely,” the metal giants said in a post to social media. "As it relates to creativity and business, we are all familiar with one another. However, there are clearly aspects of David's private life that he has kept to himself. As this situation unfolds, it is important that all voices be heard clearly and respectfully. We look forward to the truth coming to light."

Over the weekend, sexually changed messages and video footage involving Ellefson were leaked online. While the identity of the female involved in the exchange was not revealed, rumors began to circulate that she was an underage girl whom the 56-year-old musician was grooming.

Ellefson vehemently denied the allegations, releasing his own statement in which he referred to the leaked material as “private, adult interactions that were taken out of context and manipulated to inflict maximum damage to my reputation my career and family."

The rocker’s statement was accompanied by a screenshot that appeared to be from the woman with whom he had the adult interaction. In her message, the woman stated that she “was the one to initiate” the video calls, adding that she was “always a consenting adult” and “never” underage.

Ellefson is the second-longest tenured member of Megadeth, after fellow co-founder Dave Mustaine. The bassist was with the band from 1983 to 2002, when he departed following a dispute over royalties and control of the band name. He returned to the group in 2010 and has remained a member since.


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