Voice of Elmo leaving 'Sesame Street' after second underage sex allegation

To put it lightly, Sesame Street puppeteer Kevin Clash has had a rough month. Last week, he took a leave of absence from the long-running PBS children's show after he was accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy. Although the original accuser has since recanted his allegations, a second man has now come forward with similar claims. As a result, Clash has resigned from Sesame Workshop.

Kevin Clash with Elmo
The voice behind the beloved furry red puppet named Elmo, Clash was forcibly outed as a homosexual when the original allegations surfaced from a 24-year-old man named Sheldon Stephens, who professed that he and Clash had intimate encounters when he was only 16 years old. While the 52-year-old Sesame Street veteran admitted that he had a relationship with Stephens, he said that it occurred when Stephens was of legal age. An investigation launched by Sesame Workshop found no impropriety on the part of the puppeteer, and the law firm representing Stephens clarified that it was indeed "an adult consensual relationship" after a settlement was reached. Case closed, right? Not so fast.

Today, a 24-year-old man named Cecil Singleton has come forward with a similar story that he met Clash on a gay phone chat line in 2003 and had a sexual relationship with him. Accusing Clash of trolling gay chat lines for sex with underage boys, Singleton claims that the older man groomed him and gained his trust by giving him money and treating him to lavish dinners. According to TMZ, Singleton is only going public now because he "did not become aware that he had suffered adverse psychological and emotional effects from Kevin Clash's sexual acts and conduct until 2012." He is suing for more than $5 million.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Clash announced that he would be "resigning from Sesame Workshop with a very heavy heart." Clearly dismayed to be leaving the job that defined his life up to this point, Clash said, "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."

Hmm. I was willing to give Clash the benefit of the doubt when the original story broke, but as they say, where there's smoke there's probably a fire. I never liked Elmo anyway.

- Kevin Clash
- Sesame Street

Written by: Chrononaut
Nov 20th, 2012, 1:03 pm


Message Posted On Nov 22nd, 2012, 7:49 pm
I would reserve any conclusions until an actual investigation is conducted. There really is not any way to tell, although it is tempting to say that twice-accused (coupled with barely-lgeal/half-his-age relationships) is, in itself, telling. *** So, I actually agree with that guy ... whose cat name is America... that we should wait and see. But, also find the level of vitriol and ad hominem s/he directs toward Joel for expressing his opinion, to be... troubling.

Level 3 (9%)
Points: 1.5
Since: 03/Aug/12
Message Posted On Nov 21st, 2012, 10:44 am

Whoa, I'm not condemning him, but it's hard to give the guy the benefit of the doubt now. It was creepy enough when he admitted that he had a sexual relationship with the first accuser when he was 18 and Clash was in his mid-40s. It's pretty obvious the dude likes the fresh meat.


Level 3 (15%)
Since: 22/Aug/12
Message Posted On Nov 20th, 2012, 6:06 pm

Derides use of "archaic old cliche"

Follows up with "....NOT!"


I'm just waiting to see if Elmo himself gets brought into this. You know that puppet's got kiddie porn stashed on that computer of his. And he always has babies hanging out at his house. I bet Grover taught him everything he knows...


Message Posted On Nov 20th, 2012, 5:37 pm
@Seabat, why does it even matter to you what Joel Thomas thinks about the case? Is he a judge? Is he on the jury? If not, he's just a person giving their opinion, much as you are, and much as I am. I'm choosing to wait until more facts before I form an opinion about Clash's probable guilt, but calling the writer a "snippy little troll" for expressing an opinion is just childish.

Level 1 (34%)
Points: 0.6
Since: 03/Nov/08
Message Posted On Nov 20th, 2012, 4:44 pm

Jeez, Thomas, what a snippy little troll you are! You are like all the rest of the trendy little noobs trying to be a 'real' writer. You've condemed this man without any evidence just because of some archaic old cliche. What a true winner you are. . . . NOT!

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