Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Elmo and Cecil Singleton

Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash claimed he was innocent of having sex with a minor.

Sheldon Stephens, the 23-year-old man making the allegations, recanted, presumably after he received a settlement.

All was well again on Sesame Street, at least well enough.

Not for long though.

Today, we learn that Clash as the voice of Elmo is history.

Another individual, Cecil Singleton, came forward to accuse Clash of having sex with him when he was 15.

From the Associated Press:

Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash has resigned from "Sesame Street" in the wake of an allegation that he had sex with an underage youth.

In its statement Tuesday, Sesame Workshop said "the controversy surrounding Kevin's personal life has become a distraction that none of us want," leading Clash to conclude "that he can no longer be effective in his job."

"This is a sad day for Sesame Street," the company said.
The first sentence of this AP report isn't clear.

Readers familiar with the original story could think Clash's resignation is related to that, when in fact, it's due to ANOTHER allegation.

In a statement of his own, Clash said "personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work Sesame Street is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer. I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately."

As the announcement was made, a lawsuit was being filed in federal court in New York charging Clash with sexual abuse of a second youth. The lawsuit alleges that Cecil Singleton, then 15 and now an adult, was persuaded by Clash to meet for sexual encounters.

The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $5 million.
$5 million?

TMZ reported that the first accuser received a six-figure settlement, $125,000.

Kevin Clash -- the voice of Elmo -- agreed to pay his accuser $125,000, with one string attached -- that the accuser recant his story that Clash had sex with him when he was a minor ... TMZ has learned.

...We've learned although Stephens signed the document, he continues to insist Clash had sex with him when he was a minor and was pressured into signing the settlement.

One source privy to the negotiations tells TMZ ... Stephens was crying during final negotiations and repeatedly insisted he didn't want to sign.
Stephens must be kicking himself for agreeing.

Clash has not been proven guilty of having sex with minors.

I'd like to think the voice of the beloved Elmo, sweet little Elmo, wasn't a sexual predator.

I hope Clash is not a criminal.

It's all so creepy.

Elmo had the distinction of being the first and only non-human to testify before Congress.

From CNN:

In what may be the first appearance of a Muppet before a congressional committee, "Sesame Street" favorite Elmo donned his best suit and tie and took his cause to Capitol Hill. The red furry friend to toddlers everywhere gave evidence before the Education Appropriations Subcommittee to urge more spending on music research and musical instruments for school programs.But why was this issue so close to the red-furry heart of the oft-tickled one, who's only 3?

His mission was to ensure that "when Elmo goes to school, there will be the instruments to play," he explained before joining Joe Lamond, head of an international trade association of musical instrument makers, in the committee room.
If Clash is found guilty of having sex with a minor, will he be the first sexual predator to testify before Congress?


Very creepy.

This is the end of Elmo as we know him.


Read Read Sesame Workshop’s Statement on Kevin Clash, Voice of Elmo, Resigning Amid Sex Accusations

No comments: