Former MEGADETH Bassist Sues DAVE MUSTAINE For $18.5 Million

Former MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson has filed an $18.5-million lawsuit against the group's mainman, Dave Mustaine, in Manhattan Federal Court, alleging the singer shortchanged him on profits and backed out of a deal to turn Megadeth Inc. over to him when the band broke up in 2002, according to the New York Daily News. Ellefson also accuses Mustaine of locking him out of merchandise and publishing royalties.

"This is a classic case of a minority stockholder whose rights were abused," Ellefson's attorney, Randall Jacobs, told the New York Daily News.

In court papers, Ellefson said Mustaine — a veteran of at least 17 drug rehab stints — resented Ellefson, a former drug addict, for having kicked his own habit. It also accuses Mustaine of dissing the bassist's playing skill.

According to court papers, the battle of the band spread to the Internet in May, when Mustaine posted on Megadeth.com that Ellefson was trying to extort him.

"Did Ellefson ever once get in a fistfight with someone to protect me? No, but I did for him," Mustaine wrote. "Did he ever loan my parents money? No, but I did for him."

MEGADETH's new album, "The System Has Failed", which doesn't include any contributions from Ellefson, is scheduled for release on September 14 through Sanctuary Records.

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