Elmo's Puppeteer Resigns from Sesame Street Amid New Sex Allegations

By Aidan Gardiner on November 20, 2012 1:40pm 

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

NEW YORK CITY — The longtime voice and puppeteer behind Sesame Street's Elmo has resigned in the wake of an allegation that he had a relationship with an underage boy — and a new claim that he had sex with a 15-year-old boy nearly two decades ago.

Kevin Clash, 52, quit from his post at Sesame Street Tuesday.

“Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us wants, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from Sesame Street,” the Workshop published on its website Tuesday. “This is a sad day for Sesame Street.”

Clash came under fire earlier this month when a 23-year-old man claimed he had a relationship with him seven years ago, when the accuser was just 16-years-old.

The alleged victim recanted his claims through a statement from his lawyer, only to later say he was pressured into taking a settlement and going silent, according to gossip website TMZ.

On Tuesday, TMZ published new allegations that Clash had a sexual relationship 19 years ago with a boy who was then 15-years-old.

The Sesame Workshop said that it had investigated the first accuser's claims and found them to be baseless.

The second accuser has reportedly filed suit against Clash seeking more than $5 million in damages, according to TMZ. 

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