Trouble is brewing and the laughter is leaving in the magical world of “Sesame Street,” as news is now circulating that Kevin Clash, the voice of the iconic character Elmo, has been accused of having sex with an underage boy.
According to TMZ, Sesame Workshop lawyers recently met with a 23-year-old man who claims that he and Clash began a sexual relationship seven years ago, when he was just 16 and Clash was 45.
Sesame Workshop officials admit that they’ve met with the man twice and have had other communications with him as well.
“In June of this year, Sesame Workshop received a communication from a young man who alleged that he had a relationship with Kevin Clash beginning when he was 16-years-old. This was a personal relationship, unrelated to the workplace. We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action,” said Sesame Workshop officials.
And, though Clash admits that he did have a relationship with his accuser, he denies that their relationship was anything other than consensual and says that they weren’t involved until after his accuser was an adult.
Sources close to the situation say that after the young man with Sesame Workshop officials, he felt that the company’s lawyers tried to silence his claims and he decided to fight back by hiring Andreozzi and Associates, the same firm that represented one of the victims in the Jerry Sandusky child rape case.
In August, Andreozzi sent a letter to Sesame Workshop, accusing them of trying to silence their client and trying to protect clash and their “valuable puppet” instead of protecting the young man.
However, Sesame Workshop claims to have conducted an official investigation into the matter and concluded that the young man’s accusations were “unsubstantiated.”
Although Sesame Workshop officials are standing behind Clash, they say they have reprimanded him for using company e-mail to correspond with his accuser and that “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.”
It’s unclear whether Clash wanted to take the leave of absence, but he maintains that he did nothing wrong.
“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,” said Clash.
As for Elmo, Sesame Workshop says that the character will continue on despite Clash’s absence.
Unfortunately, Clash isn’t the only star who’s been in this predicament. Check out some other stars with sex scandals below. –nicholas robinson