Voice of Elmo and puppeteer, Kevin Clash, has taken a leave of absence from ‘Sesame Street’ due to sexual allegations that he had sex with a 16-year-old boy, TMZ reports Nov. 12. Clash denies the accusations, which were made by a 23-year-old man claiming he had a sexual relationship with Clash seven years ago.
Sesame Workshop is taking the allegations seriously after meeting with the young man several times.
The voice of Elmo did admit he had a relationship with the accuser, but only AFTER he was an adult.
A source close to the “Sesame Street” sex scandal said when the accuser met with Sesame Workshop, he got the feeling they were trying to keep him quiet, so he hired Andreozzi and Associates. The firm has also represented one of Jerry Sandusky’s child rape victims.
In August, Andreozzi sent a to Sesame Workshop alleging that they were trying to “discredit the victim in order to protect its employee and the image of one of its most valuable characters,” saying, “This approach places a greater value on a puppet than the well being of a young man.”
Sesame Workshop officials claim they never tried to silence the accuser, but wanted proof of the relationship he said he had with Clash. He wasn’t able to produce it, so they felt the allegations were unsubstantiated. There were some emails eventually discovered between Clash and the accuser, but there’s suspicion they could be fraudulent since they weren’t mentioned before. In one case, an email didn’t suggest a sexual relationship, but the voice of Elmo was disciplined for using the company email in that nature.
Sesame Workshop officials said this in a statement to TMZ:
“Kevin insists that these allegations are false and defamatory and he has taken actions to protect his reputation. We have granted him a leave of absence to do so.”
Kevin Clash had this to say over the emerging “Sesame Street” sex scandal:
“I had a relationship with [the accuser]. It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to make it into something it was not.”
Will this turn into an ugly case coming out of a children’s show known for purity and educating America’s youth? It sounds like the voice of Elmo is preparing himself for what’s to come by taking a leave of absence. Kevin Clash has been a part of “Sesame Street” since 1984. His main character wound up being the voice of Elmo, a puppet beloved by both children and adults.