Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash has officially resigned from Sesame Street. Clash who had been the longtime time Puppeteer for the lovable Elmo puppet was forced to resign amid another lawsuit.
Mr. Clash was Elmo’s creator and the voice of the famous puppet for nearly three decades. One week ago, Clash was accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with 24-year old model Sheldon Stephens when he was a minor. Just one day after a settlement was reached, Stephens recanted his accusation; instead alleging that while he and Clash did have a sexual relationship, that he was not a minor when it occurred.
Only those two men know what really occurred and exactly when it happened, but there are some facts surrounding former model Stephens that lend new meaning to the phrase “pause for cause.” The blue-eyed youngster allegedly has quite the rap sheet that includes armed robbery, writing bad checks and reckless driving. His mother, Felicia Stephens, was charged with attempted murder in March after trying to stab her husband with a pair of scissors. Coincidentally, Stephens made his allegation against the Elmo puppeteer a few months after his mother’s legal troubles began and reportedly a six-figure settlement was on the table. Helping his mom defend an attempted murder charge most likely will require the help of a good lawyer; and if reports of a settlement are true, then the timing of this expose is telling.
What is to come of the Stephens and Clash case is still uncertain. However Clash’s resignation likely received a hefty push with new reports surfacing of yet another lawsuit filed by an additional man claiming he had a sexual relationship with the puppeteer while he was underage. The latest man to step forward is Cecil Singleton, who is now in his 30s. Singleton claims the he and Clash met on a gay phone chat line back in 1993 when he was just 15-years old and Clash was 32.
Singleton released a statement via his attorney addressing why he didn’t come forward sooner with these allegations. In it he claims that he, “did not become aware that he had suffered adverse psychological and emotional effects from Kevin Clash’s sexual acts and conduct until 2012.” Again, if the claims of a six-figure settlement between Clash and Stephens is true, then we can all do the math on why Mr. Singleton just now realized how emotionally scarred he really was.
Is Kevin Clash an opportunist, preying on younger gay males? Has Clash been targeted for extortion? Or, perhaps is it a bit of both?