Kevin Clash takes leave from Sesame
of Sesame Workshop
Muppeteer Kevin Clash, most famous as Sesame Street's Elmo, has
taken a leave of absence from the famous children's show amidst
allegations that he had an underage relationship.
Workshop has issued the following statement in response...
June of this year, Sesame Workshop received a communication from
a then 23 year old man who alleged that he had a relationship
beginning when he was 16 years old with Kevin Clash, a Sesame
Workshop puppeteer who performs as Elmo.
We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action.
We met with the accuser twice and had repeated communications with
him. We met with Kevin, who denied the accusation. We also conducted
a thorough investigation and found the allegation of underage conduct
to be unsubstantiated. Although this was a personal relationship
unrelated to the workplace, our investigation did reveal that Kevin
exercised poor judgment and violated company policy regarding internet
usage and he was disciplined.
Kevin insists that the allegation of underage conduct is false
and defamatory and he is taking actions to protect his reputation.
We have granted him a leave of absence to do so.
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, as it has for 40 years.
Accuser Recants Allegation Against Elmo Puppeteer
Courtesy of The New York Times
November 13, 2012
The man who
accused Kevin Clash, the voice and puppeteer of the “Sesame
Street” character Elmo, of an underage sexual relationship
has recanted that claim, his lawyer said on Tuesday. The reversal
came a day after the claim was first published by the gossip Web
Mr. Clash has
taken a leave of absence from Sesame Workshop, the organization
that produces “Sesame Street,” to challenge
Andreozzi & Associates, a law firm that said it represented
the accuser said in a statement that “he wants it to be known
that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual
relationship.” The statement added, “He will have no
further comment on the matter.”
identity has not been disclosed.
Mr. Clash said
through a spokeswoman: “I am relieved that
this painful allegation has been put to rest. I will not discuss
had no immediate comment on when Mr. Clash would return to work.
But the organization said in a statement Tuesday
afternoon, “We are pleased that this matter has been brought
to a close, and we are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate
On Monday, TMZ said that the accuser, now 24 years old, contacted
Sesame Workshop last summer and claimed that, beginning at the
age of 16, he had a sexual relationship with Mr. Clash.
The news threw
one of the most trusted preschool properties into turmoil as
Sesame Workshop moved quickly to protect its “Sesame
Street” brand, estimated by Forbes to be worth more than
Sesame Workshop said that they thoroughly investigated the accusation,
using outside investigators, over several months
and believe it to be false. Mr. Clash’s leave was granted
Sunday after it became clear that the Web site TMZ was planning
to run an article about the accusation.
Mr. Clash said
in a statement on Monday that the relationship “was
between two consenting adults” — something that the
accuser seemed to admit on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr. Clash has
achieved a measure of fame outside the show as the star of the
2011 documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s
Journey.” The episode led to Mr. Clash coming out as a gay
man, something he had not previously said in public. “I have
never been ashamed of this or tried to hide it, but felt it was
a personal and private matter,” he said in the statement.
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