Oh no, say it ain’t so! Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo (and star of the 2011 documentary Being Elmo), has been accused of having a sexual relationship with an underage boy!
According to TMZ, a 23-year-old man recently contacted Sesame Street lawyers with the claim that he and Clash began a sexual relationship… when he was 16 and Clash was 45!
Clash has admitted to having a relationship with the accuser, but INSISTS that it took place after the man was legal.
Sesame Workshop addressed the allegations with this statement;
“In June of this year, Sesame Workshop received a communication from a young man who alleged that he had a relationship with Kevin Clash beginning when he was 16-years-old. This was a personal relationship, unrelated to the workplace. We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action.”
The accuser apparently didn’t think so, because after his first meeting with Sesame, he lawyered up with Andreozzi and Associates (the firm that represented one of the victims in the Jerry Sandusky child rape case).
In August, his new lawyer sent a letter to Sesame accusing them of trying to “discredit the victim in order to protect its employee and the image of one of its most valuable characters,” and placing “a greater value on a puppet than the well being of a young man.” Yikes!
Sesame officials say that they conducted a thorough investigation and determined that the accusations of underage sex were unsubstantiated. They also believe that one of the emails the accuser has from Clash, which he claims proves the affair began when he was 16, is a fraud. Officials did find emails between Clash and the accuser, but say that there was NO suggestion of underage sex in them. However Clash has been disciplined for “inappropriate use of company email.”
As we mentioned before, Clash is adamantly denying these accusations, calling them “false and defamatory,” and had this to say:
“I had a relationship with [the accuser]. It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to make it into something it was not.”
According to Sesame Street, Clash has been given a leave of absence from work in order to “protect his reputation.” Sesame Street went on to say that Elmo is doing fine, adding:
“Elmo is bigger than any one person and will continue to be an integral part of Sesame Street to engage, educate and inspire children around the world.”