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Accuser retracts claim he had underage sex with Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The man who accused “Sesame Street” puppeteer Kevin Clash of having a sexual encounter with him when he was 16, has retracted his statements.

The accuser, now 24 years old, contacted Sesame Workshop last summer and claimed that, beginning at the age of 16, he had a sexual relationship with Clash.

Kevin Clash

Clash — the openly gay actor who voices the Muppet character Elmo — had taken a leave of absence recently to fight the accusations, according to the Sesame Workshop, which announced Monday that their internal investigation “found the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated.”

Today, Andreozzi & Associates, a law firm that said it represented Clash’s accuser, said in a statement that “he wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship.”

The statement added, “He will have no further comment on the matter.”

The accuser’s identity has not been disclosed.

“I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest,” Clash said Tuesday, via a spokesman. “I will not discuss it further.”

Sesame Workshop had no immediate comment on when Clash would return to work, but in a statement posted on its website, said, “We are pleased that this matter has been brought to a close, and we are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode.”

Clash has acknowledged the relationship, but insisted that the accuser was legally an adult at the time.

Update, 11/14/2012: The Smoking Gun has identified Clash’s accuser as 24-year-old model and actor Sheldon Stephens.

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20 more reader comments:

  1. leave elmo out of this it is that mans problem not elmo’s

    Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 9:06pm
  2. Why is the accuser’s name not being released? He should be man enough to stand up…

    Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 9:10pm
  3. Brandon, they only used Elmo to introduce us to the puppeteer.

    I’m glad the truth came out though. I don’t get why people have to try to ruin someone’s life. They should pay for the defamation of his good character.

    Congratulations, Kevin!

    Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 9:11pm
  4. I knew it! Now let’s see how the media lacks to report about this. Cause as yesterday they reported it every where every channel every minute. This is my first hearing about the retraction.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 9:12pm
  5. underage sex as opposed to overage sex… is this like cheese? lol… just on the lighter side of things… Poor Elmo… this is probably a result of his potty training video! I am just waiting for some dipshit to have issue with two grandmommies elmo training their grandson! I will go all Achmed on them!

    Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 9:13pm
  6. I fear this will forever tarnish not only Mr. Clash’s reputation but the character of Elmo as well. Shame on this young man for what he has done. I how the lawsuits are mighty when this is all said and done.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 9:14pm
  7. Yup, sounds about right. Its all about ratings and lack of real facts, do the research yourself because all media is either bias or just looking for viewers and will put up anything to try and get you to watch.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 9:20pm
  8. The accuser should be forced to publicly retract and apologize. Then Elmo should kick him in the taint.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 9:22pm
  9. Chuck, everything but the kick happened

    Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 9:25pm
  10. Who cares anyway? 16 is legal in most states and is hardly a “child” anymore. Those that called him a pedophile don’t know the true meaning of the word.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 9:35pm
  11. I knew it wasn’t true!

    Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 9:46pm
  12. His reputation is forever tarnished and anything he ever does for the rest of his life will have the whisper of “Wasn’t he that guy who …”. His accuser should absolutely have to stand in the public eye and pay for the damages to this man’s character, including lost salary for the time off he had to take to fight this accusation.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 9:49pm
  13. Good for Kevin!

    Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 10:05pm
  14. it was solved amicably!

    Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 10:41pm
  15. This sounds to me like a big blackmail attempt that blew up in his unnamed face. Make him come forward.. so Elmo can kick his taint.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 11:39pm
  16. but now his reputation is in ruins. hope he can make a good comeback.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 4:27am
  17. All I can say is Thank God!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 5:43am
  18. sounds like they paid him off and he recanted his story

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 7:28am
  19. It sounds like Kevin will have to live with this, even though he is innocent.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 9:39am
  20. some people are more vulnerable to these types of false allegations, namely, those whose profession is held to higher standard or would cause controversy. its likely the minor was offered a settlement but false reporting is a serious crime that often comes with jail time for those with a record. its unlikely that a minor would receive jail time for this but it is likely to not be expunged from a criminal record. but people have sacrificed alot more for money.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 12:34pm