Elmo Puppeteer – Kevin Clash, the voice actor behind Sesame Street’s Elmo, is being accused of having a sexual relationship with an underage teenage boy. According to a report by TMZ, Clash’s accuser claims he had sexual relationship with Clash seven years ago when he was 16 and Clash was 45. Clash admitted to having a sexual relationship with his accuser but he insists the young man, now 23, was of consenting age. “I had a relationship with [the accuser],” Clash said in a statement. “It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to make it into something it was not.”
Clash has taken a leave of absence from Sesame Street Workshop and the company has released a statement on the matter. “In June of this year, Sesame Workshop received a communication from a young man who alleged that he had a relationship with Kevin Clash beginning when he was 16-years-old,” said a Sesame Street rep in a statement. “This was a personal relationship, unrelated to the workplace. We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action.”
The company also insists that Elmo will not be affected by this scandal. “Elmo is bigger than any one person and will continue to be an integral part of Sesame Street to engage, educate and inspire children around the world,” said the statement.
The alleged victim is being represented by Andreozzi and Associates, a firm that represented one of Jerry Sandusky’s accusers. Back in August, the firm sent a letter to Sesame Street accusing them of attempting to “discredit the victim in order to protect its employee and the image of one of its most valuable characters.This approach places a greater value on a puppet than the well being of a young man.”
So far, there have been no charges filed against Clash.