Accuser Recants Sexual Allegations Against Elmo Puppeteer Kevin Clash
Elmo and Kevin Clash
The man who claimed Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo on Sesame Street, had a sexual relationship with him when he was 16 years old has now recanted his statement, the New York Times reports.
Kevin Clash, voice of Sesame Street's Elmo, on leave of absence amid underage sex allegations
The unidentified accuser, who's now 23, recanted his statement through a law firm and noted that he and Clash had an "adult consensual relationship." The accuser did not, however, formally apologize to Clash.
"We are pleased that this matter has been brought to a close, and we are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode," Sesame Workshop said in a statement on its website Tuesday. Added Clash in his own statement: ""I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest. I will not discuss it further."
The accuser initially approached show executives in June with claims that he became involved with Clash seven years prior, according to a statement from Sesame Workshop. Clash, 52, denied claims that they were involved when the accuser was underage, and an investigation by Sesame Workshop also revealed that the underage allegation was "unsubstantiated." However, according to the organization's original statement, the "investigation did reveal that Kevin exercised poor judgment and violated company policy regarding Internet usage and he was disciplined."
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There is no word on when Clash, who is currently on a leave of absence will return to work.
Clash has voiced Elmo since 1984 and has also voiced Hoots the Owl, Baby Natasha and Dr. Nobel Price. He was the subject of last year's well-received documentary Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey.