In a new interview with Rocking With Jam Man, NONPOINT singer Elias Soriano was asked for his opinion on the so-called cancel culture — where public figures are torn down after publicly judged for transgressions, perceived or real. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “The Internet wields its power, and it’s random how it chooses to do it. It just takes one comment from somebody having a bad day to snowball into somebody getting canceled or some business being closed down or people being called out. It’s something that you have to be aware of when it comes to your being on the stratosphere of the Internet. It’s a very volatile, very unforgiving place. And people have to tread lightly.”

Soriano was then asked to comment specifically on the controversy surrounding MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson‘s intimate involvement in communications with a woman other than his wife. Over the weekend, sexually tinged messages and explicit video footage involving the 56-year-old Ellefson were leaked on Twitter. The longtime MEGADETH member later released a statement on Instagram denying all social media chatter that he “groomed” an underage fan.

Elias said: “People are gonna put stuff up on the Internet, and people are gonna judge it. You can’t expect no reaction. So when something like that happens, you have to expect a reaction. So when that does happen… Again, the Internet is a really unforgiving place. I’ve been thrown in the midst of it — right in the middle of the pandemic, we were all over headlines — so I don’t envy Dave at all. He’s one of the sweetest guys in the world. I’ve met Dave a million times. I’ve done interviews with him. He’s a good person. So I hope he sees himself out of this.”

Merriam-Webster broadly defines “cancel culture” as “to withdraw one’s support for (someone, such as a celebrity, or something, such as a company) publicly and especially on social media,” particularly after they have displayed objectionable opinions or actions.

In his statement on Monday, Ellefson wrote: “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,” he continued. “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.”

Ellefson‘s statement was accompanied by a screenshot of a social media post from the woman involved, who denied any suggestions that she was underage at the time. The woman also revealed she recorded the intimate moments and shared them with a friend without Ellefson‘s permission, calling herself “naïve” for doing so and claiming that the contact between her and the musician was “all consensual and all online.” She also called assumptions that she was “groomed” by Ellefson “misinformation”.

“Yes, those video calls did happen, but I was the one to initiate it 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,” the woman stated.

David, who became a Lutheran pastor nearly a decade ago, and his wife Julie Ellefson have been married for 27 years. They reportedly dated for six years after getting together in 1988. After two days of engagement, they married on April 2, 1994. They have two children, Roman Alexander (25) and Athena Grace (22).

Ellefson, who has lived in Scottsdale, Arizona since 1994, is also an author and entrepreneur, holding the reins of EMP Label Group, Combat Records, Ellefson Coffee Co., and more, in addition to a diverse portfolio of brands and signature products. Ellefson was also inducted into the 2018 class of the Iowa Rock N’ Roll Hall Of Fame, just over the border from Jackson in Spirit Lake, Iowa.