Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash has resigned from “Sesame Street” in the wake of new allegations of having sex with a minor.
The announcement came Tuesday as a second accuser has come forward alleging that he had sexual encounters with Clash in 1993 when he was 15 years old and Clash was 32. Cecil Singleton, now an adult, is filing a federal lawsuit in New York charging Clash with sexual abuse.
It’s the second underage sex allegations made against the man best known as the famous voice of Elmo in two weeks.
The shocking sex scandal first erupted on Nov. 12 when Clash, 52, denied accusations made by another accuser, Sheldon Stephens, now 24, who claimed to have had a sexual relationship with Clash when he was 16 — but recanted his story 48 hours later. Clash called the claims “false and defamatory.” He admitted he had a sexual relationship with Stephens, but Clash says it was a consensual relationship that began after Stephens became an adult.
Stephens reportedly signed a $125,000 settlement agreement, but he has since stated that he regrets recanting his story as part of the deal, according to TMZ.
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Singleton, the second accuser, is reportedly suing Clash for $5 million in damages, “claiming he’s suffering psychological and emotional issues caused by the relationship,” according to TMZ.
Clash has been on “Sesame Street” for 28 years and created the voice of “Elmo,” one of the classic children’s programs most popular characters of all time.
“It’s a sad day for Sesame Street,” says a spokesperson for Sesame Workshop, who confirmed the turn of events Tuesday in a statement.
“Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us want, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from Sesame Street. This is a sad day for Sesame Street.”
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