Sesame Street Elmo Puppeteer Kevin Clash Denies Illegal Affair With Teen Boy

Posted on November 12, 2012

Being Elmo A Puppeteers Journey

In the day's most shocking news story -- and this is on a day that John McAfee is on the lam in Belize avoiding murder charges and more sordid details are coming out about the Petraeus scandal -- beloved Sesame Street Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash has been accused of having an illegal relationship with a 16 year old boy.

Sesame Workshop issued a statement today explaining the horrifying accusations. They say, "In 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."

Sesame Workshop says it took immediate action, which included two meetings with accuser and additional communications. They say Kevin denied the accusation. Sesame Workshop says it found the underage conduct allegation was unsubstantiated after conducting its own investigation."

So this guy goes to Sesame Street and says he had a relationship with Clash when he was underaged? Why didn't he go to the police? Is he suing Sesame Street for money? The statement goes on to say: "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."

Other outlets are reporting that Clash says he had a relationship with this young man, but it didn't start until the young man was 18. TMZ says Clash told them, "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."

Sesame Street said, "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."

This is just awful news. We can hardly stand reading about it. The story of Clash's life was made into the documentary, Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

Image: Constance Marks Productions Inc.