Phil Rudd, longtime drummer for rock legends AC/DC, has been charged with attempting to arrange a double murder. Rudd was arrested at his home in New Zealand, where police also found methamphetamine and marijuana. He was charged during a brief court appearance and released later on bail. The identities of those involved have not been disclosed.
Rudd has been with the band since 1974, and they’re due to release a new album, Rock or Bust, on December 2. The band released a statement shortly after news broke: “We’ve only become aware of Phil’s arrest as the news was breaking. We have no further comment. Phil’s absence will not affect the release of our new album.”
There’s a history between Rudd and his bandmates. The drummer was fired in 1983 after an altercation with guitarist Malcolm Young. He didn’t join back up with the group until 1993. AC/DC recently posted a photo on Facebook (in the gallery above) that excluded Rudd. He was also replaced in the filming of their last two music videos due to an undisclosed “family emergency.” If convicted, Rudd faces a maximum sentence of 10 years.
Update: According to the New Zealand Herald, the charges against Rudd of attempting to procure a murder are now dropped. In a statement by Rudd’s lawyer Paul Mabey, there was “insufficient evidence to justify that charge.” He went on to say, “The charge … should never have been laid,” and that Rudd had “suffered unnecessary and extremely damaging publicity as a result of widespread and sensational reporting of a very serious allegation, which on any basis was never justified.” Rudd does still face other charges and could see up to seven years in jail for threatening to kill.