Kevin Clash, the puppeteer and voice of “Elmo,” who was accused of having had underaged sex with a 16-year old boy — who later recanted — has now resigned from Sesame Street after a second accuser has come forward accusing him of also having had underaged sex. Both accusers are now adults. Now, Clash’s first accuser, is reported to want to “recant his recantation,” as the New York Post reports:
Clash’s sudden downfall came hours after published reports emerged that a man in his mid-30s filed a lawsuit against Clash, accusing the beloved puppeteer of having underaged sex with him when he was just 15.
The federal civil complaint, filed in New York by Cecil Singleton, alleged that Clash — now 52 — picked him up in 1993 on a gay phone chat line.
Singleton said he was 15 at the time, while Clash was 32.
“[Clash] trolled gay telephone chat line rooms to meet and have sex with underage boys,” Singleton claimed in his explosive lawsuit.
“[Clash] groomed [the accuser] to gain his trust by, among other things, taking him to nice dinners and giving him money.”
Singleton is asking more than $5 million.
Clash faced a similar accusation of underage sex last week, in a complaint that just won’t go away.
Sheldon Stephens, 24, accused Clash of sexual misconduct this summer before the allegations went public last week.
Stephens then withdrew his complaint but now wants to recant his recantation.
He’s interviewing lawyers in hopes of ripping up the $125,000 deal he reached last week with Clash, TMZ said.
Sesame Workshop released a statement noting:
Sesame Workshop’s mission is to harness the educational power of media to help all children the world over reach their highest potential. Kevin Clash has helped us achieve that mission for 28 years, and none of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us wants, 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.
Image via Wikipedia by Bill Thompson
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