Elmo Puppeteer, Kevin Clash, Resigns From Sesame Street
Says personal matters a distraction as 2nd man makes sex allegation
After 28 years on the legendary children's TV show Sesame Street, Kevin Clash, the longtime voice and puppeteer behind Elmo, has resigned after allegations that he had more than one sexual relationship with an underage male.
Clash was first accused last week of having an inappropriate relationship by a 24-year-old man, identified as Sheldon Stephens, who later recanted his accusations, but yesterday said they were, in fact, true.
On Tuesday, TMZ reported that a second accuser, Cecil Singleton, filed a lawsuit in New York alleging that he had an underage sexual relationship with Clash almost a decade ago.
Sesame Workshop, nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street said they received Clash's resignation and released the following statement today:
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.
[ALSO READ: Elmo Accuser's Troubled Past]
Clash also released his own statement:
“I am resigning from Sesame Workshop with a very heavy heart. I have loved every day of my 28 years working for this exceptional organization. Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work Sesame Street is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer. I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately.”