Man Recants Underage Sex Claim Against Elmo Puppeteer
NEW YORK — The man who accused Sesame Street's Elmo puppeteer of having an underage sexual relationship with him has withdrawn his claim.
The unnamed 23-year-old claimed that Kevin Clash, 52, who is the voice of Elmo for the popular children's show, started a relationship with him seven years ago, when the accuser was just 16 years old.
But on Tuesday, the man's lawyers released a statement retracting the claim that the relationship began when the man was still a minor.
"He wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship," Andreozzi & Associates said. "He will have no further comment on the matter."
Sesame Workshop found no evidence of an underage sexual relationship between Clash and the accuser but granted Clash a leave of absence to take "actions to protect his reputation," according to a statement on the organization's website.