Imagine what it must feel like to have your life's work threatened by baseless claims from (in my opinion) what seems to be a spurned ex-lover.
Kevin Clash, puppeteer of Elmo on Sesame Street, has experienced this over the last week. His sexual preference became public knowledge and he was accused of conducting an inappropriate relationship with a minor. A few days later, his accuser changed his tune and admitted that their relationship occurred when he was an adult. But you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube after it has been squeezed out - the personal life that Clash kept personal is now public.
Still, he feels relief that this has ended.
"I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest. I will not discuss it further," said Clash. "I am a gay man. I have never been ashamed of this or tried to hide it but felt it was a personal and private matter. I had a relationship with the accuser. It was between two consenting adults, and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to characterize it as something other than what it was."
Clash had taken a leave of absence while the incident was investigated. Sesame workshop released a statement Monday saying that it "found the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated" and that Clash's leave of absence was meant as part of "taking actions to protect his reputation."
It is appalling that this young man said this. Clash did nothing wrong, but this little punk tried to ruin his life. I find this unforgivable and I hope Clash suffers no long-term job impact.