NEW YORK — A third man has come forward alleging he had engaged in sexual activity when he was only 16-years-old, with former “Sesame Street” puppeteer Kevin Clash.
The accuser, now 29 and identified only as “John Doe” for now, says he met Clash on a gay chat line, where the two talked for several days before Clash invited the teen to his apartment. The accuser claimed he engaged in “some sexual activity” with Clash.“Doe” will be filing a lawsuit in Manhattan Federal Court on Tuesday, according to his attorney Jeff Herman.
Herman said his client started writing a book in 2009 describing his experience with Clash, and that he will have pages from that book at a press conference Tuesday to announce the lawsuit, reported the New York Daily News.
The allegation comes just days after Cecil Singleton, who Herman also represents, filed a lawsuit against Clash, and two weeks after Sheldon Stephens made the first accusations of engaging in sexual activity with Clash while still a minor. Stephens retracted his claim the day after making the accusation, describing the relationship with Clash as adult and consensual.
Singleton also said he had met the actor and puppeteer on a gay chat line and had sexual encounters with him over a two-week period while he was still underage; his lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $5 million.
At the time Singleton’s lawsuit was announced, Herman said he had been contacted by two other potential victims and expected additional legal actions to follow.
Clash, who was the voice and puppeteer for the popular “Elmo” character since 1985, resigned from the Sesame Workshop last week following Singleton’s allegations, saying he didn’t want to create a distraction from the show.
“Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work ‘Sesame Street’ is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer,” Clash said. “I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately.”
Clash, 52, served as the senior Muppet coordinator and Muppet captain, and in his 28 years with the Sesame Workshop, won 23 daytime Emmy awards and one prime-time Emmy.
He is divorced and the father of a grown daughter; Clash acknowledged publicly that he is gay when the first allegation against him was made.
A representative for Clash’s said the lawsuit has no merit.