Elmo, Kevin Clash
A third man has come forward accusing former Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash of having sex with him when he was a minor, The New York Post reports.
According to the lawsuit filed on Tuesday in Manhattan Federal Court, the incident happened when the plaintiff, named in the papers as John Doe and who's now in his late 20s, was 16.
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"At 16 years old, John went on a gay chat line to meet friends who were also gay," the lawsuit claims. "John specifically stated his intention on the chat line as non-sexual. John was contacted through the chat line by Kevin Clash. Kevin Clash said his name was Craig and he was 30 years old. Kevin Clash was approximately 40 years old at the time."
The relationship quickly escalated, according to the papers. "Kevin Clash gave John alcohol and groomed him," the lawsuit states. "Kevin Clash engaged in sexual contact, including oral sex."
John Doe has started writing a book about his relationship with Clash. Excerpts from the unpublished work were read by the accuser's attorney during a press conference on Tuesday.
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"When we first met I was 16 and there was no intercourse; however lots of heavy kissing and he showed me what it felt like to get on your knees and obey your man," one excerpt read.
The reading even included the disturbing detail: "Mr. Tickler is what I will call him and the game we played was father and son."
The accuser added in a prepared statement: "I am only coming forward in support for the two victims that were accused as liars. I too at first thought it was a money thing and wanted to stay silent, but Cecil's story reflects mine and deserves validation. Just say sorry so we can all move on with our lives. I pray that Kevin seeks help, because under these sexual demons is an incredible man."
Clash's rep Risa Heller told the Post that "Mr. Clash believes this suit has no merit."
Clash, who had played Sesame Street's beloved Elmo since 1984, resigned last week after two other men, Sheldon Stephens and Cecil Singleton, made similar underage sex accusations.