UPDATE, November 13, 2012: Sesame Street Accuser
RECANTS Underage Sex Allegations
The man who claims he had a sexual relationship with Kevin Clash -- the voice of Elmo -- is RECANTING his story ... claiming he WAS an adult during their relationship after all.________________
The accuser's lawyer just released a statement saying, "[The accuser] wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship. [The accuser] will have no further comment."
It's unclear why the accuser suddenly changed his story ... but sources close to the situation tell TMZ ... the accuser's attorney had been meeting with Clash's attorney as recent as an hour ago, discussing a financial settlement and 6-figures were on the table.
Having a sexual relationship with a minor is not nice.
From the Wall Street Journal:
Kevin Clash, famous for being the voice of Elmo for more than 25 years, is taking a leave of absence to fight allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a minor seven years ago.Yikes!
Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind Sesame Street, released a statement this morning stating it received communication from a 23-year old man in June who alleged he had an affair when he was 16-years old with the 52-year old puppeteer. After two in-person meetings with the accuser and “repeated” discussions, Sesame said the allegations were unsubstantiated, but faulted Clash with inappropriate behavior.
“We met with Kevin, who denied the accusation. We also conducted a thorough investigation and found the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated,” the Sesame Workshop said.
“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,” the statement said, adding Clash was granted leave to “take actions to protect his reputation.”
In a statement provided by his publicist, Clash admitted to the relationship, but said it began when the accuser was an adult.
“I am a gay man. I have never been ashamed of this or tried to hide it, but felt it was a personal and private matter. I had a relationship with the accuser,” Clash said. “It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to characterize it as something other than what it was. I am taking a break from Sesame Workshop to deal with this false and defamatory allegation.”
Clash is being represented by Andreozzi & Associates, P.C., the same law firm that represented victims of ex- Penn State coach and convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky.
That's a bad vibe.
Based on Clash's statement, I don't get why Sesame Workshop would fault Clash for "inappropriate behavior" and exercising "poor judgement."
Apparently, Clash violated the company's policy regarding Internet usage. It appears the investigation revealed some naughty stuff that took place online, but the accusation about a minor being involved is unsubstantiated.
Did Clash have a sexual relationship with a minor?
Are there any smoking emails?
Probably not, or they would have been discovered. Then again, it's possible Sesame Workshop's investigation wasn't thorough enough.
Clash is lucky he's a puppeteer, and not a priest or a coach or a conservative.
From TMZ: Voice of Elmo Denies Sex w/ Underage Boy
Takes Leave of Absence from Sesame Street