“Elmo” Puppeteer Kevin Clash Resigns From “Sesame Street” Over Underage Sex Allegations
The 2012 election made it look like Big Bird was losing his job … but Elmo is the one headed for unemployment. Puppeteer Kevin Clash, who voices the furry red friend of all children, has resigned from “Sesame Street” over an ensuing scandal that he may have had sex with multiple underage boys. In a statement released today, Sesame Workshop said:
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 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.
Clash had been accused last week by Sheldon Stephens, a now-26-year-old model who claimed he had a sexual relationship with the puppeteer when he was 16. Then, last week, Stephens briefly recanted his story, but then went public claiming he was paid $125,000 in a settlement to do so.
Earlier today, a 30-something man came forward claiming he had a sexual relationship with the puppeteer when he was 15 and Clash was 32. The lawsuit alleges Clash has “depraved sexual interests” and “[preys] on teenaged boys.”
A sad day for “Sesame Street” indeed.