Man Recants Underage Sex Claim Against Elmo Puppeteer

By Julie Shapiro on November 13, 2012 6:07pm 

 Kevin Clash arrives at the 34th Kennedy Center Honors held at the Kennedy Center Hall of States on Dec. 4, 2011 in Washington, DC.
Kevin Clash arrives at the 34th Kennedy Center Honors held at the Kennedy Center Hall of States on Dec. 4, 2011 in Washington, DC.
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Getty Images/Michael Tran

NEW YORK — The man who accused Sesame Street's Elmo puppeteer of having an underage sexual relationship with him has withdrawn his claim.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.

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