November 13th, 2012
05:42 PM ET

Man says relationship with Elmo puppeteer ‘adult, consensual’

[Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET] A man who alleged he was 16 when he started a relationship with the puppeteer who provides the voice of Elmo on “Sesame Street” now says it was an “adult consensual relationship,” according to his lawyers.

The man, now 23, had told Sesame Workshop in June that he started a relationship with Kevin Clash as a teenager, according to the workshop. The workshop announced on Monday that a thorough investigation found “the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated.”

On Tuesday, a law firm saying it represented the man released a statement saying he “wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship.”

“We will have no further comment on the matter,” the statement from Pennsylvania law firm Andreozzi & Associates said.

Clash, 52, and the Sesame Workshop responded Tuesday with statements of their own.

"I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest. I will not discuss it further," Clash said in a message released by his representative.

“We are pleased that this matter has been brought to a close, and we are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode,” the workshop said on its website.

A day earlier, both Sesame Workshop and Clash indicated the man was claiming that he was a teenager when Clash began a relationship with him. Clash acknowledged a relationship between “two consenting adults,” but said the man otherwise was making a “false and defamatory allegation.”

“I am a gay man,” Clash said in a statement issued Monday. “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. 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.”

Both Clash and Sesame Workshop said Monday that Clash was taking a leave of absence to deal with the allegation and protect his reputation. The show told CNN on Tuesday that it had no comment on when Clash would return.

Clash is the high-pitched voice of the iconic furry red Elmo, whom he's been playing since 1984, winning Emmy Awards along the way.

He was the third Muppeteer to take on the role.

Clash is also Sesame Street's senior Muppet coordinator and Muppet captain, the "Sesame Street" website says.

A documentary, "Being Elmo," focused on his story.

In an interview previously posted on the website of NYC Dads, an initiative of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, he spoke about how he worked to spend time with his daughter, who lives with his ex-wife outside Baltimore.

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Filed under: New York • Showbiz • TV
soundoff (250 Responses)
  1. dave

    So if the truth is that he started the affair when the boy was 16, does that make him a pedophile or a gay pedophile???

    November 13, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      It makes you a tool.

      November 14, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "stupid IS what stupid DOES"

    The only reason this story was posted is so somebody got paid to sit back and count the gay bashers.

    November 13, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      I dont want to bash them. i just want them to shut up about themselves.

      November 13, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    No, octopis, he says this same bs on every freaking article meaning he is trolling...but hey, thanks for imputing a little trolling of your own.
    Well done.

    November 13, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Corey

    what?!? how can you hold obama accountable for this guy maybe molesting someone? I'm glad your idiot lost.

    November 13, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      Please don't feed the trolls, thank you.

      November 14, 2012 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  5. abby1

    Wow! That was a really quick settlement. It's ashame that the accuser made these allegations just to get money.

    November 13, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • sfvcaguy

      Your comment caused me to have re-read this story, b/c I didn't remember seeing anything about a settlement. I read that the accuser's lawyer on behalf of his/her client has recanted the story.

      November 13, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • czar33

      I think Clash liked the young man because he had a "BBD" That one was for you Cresta! Friday-nights was your BBD night!

      November 13, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miss Dong

      Actually the thing was to say the truth first and then to get the money and retract.

      November 13, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • svann

      If there was a settlement there is no way they could keep it a secret. Press would find out for sure.

      November 13, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Corey

    in my state it does... it's easy to be an armchair activist isn't it?

    November 13, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©

    From every account I read, he wasn't 16 when it started, he was 18 or 19...he lied because he was bitter about the break-up.
    I'm thinking he was into a little blackmail action, also.

    November 13, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • ted

      Get real. He wanted the spotlight and $. Case closed.

      November 13, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Black Male. I see what you did there.

      November 13, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Ted, how was what I said anu different than what you said?

      No pun intended.

      November 13, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. David 8

    So they paid the guy to recant his story ? Clash is still a POS.

    November 13, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • markus

      Huh? where are you getting that? How do you know they paid the guy to recant? Perhaps they realized his story wouldn't hold up under such scrutiny.

      November 13, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Why on earth is he a POS??? Because he's gay? Or is it because the guy was a teen when the affair started? If the latter, would you feel the same way if "he" were a 'she"? A beautiful young woman? I doubt it.

      November 13, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • israel

      the only pos i see here is you

      November 13, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Coflyboy

    This story isn't worth commenting about. You trollers and gay bashers and nonsense talkers amaze me; you should be ashamed of yourselves. Get a life. Take your "stupid energy" and build something beneficial to society.

    November 13, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. rad666

    Let's see. The "man" takes his accusations public and gets to remain anonymous?

    November 13, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Doublellnfl

    Ok let's see in the original article the accuser was a minor stating he was 16 yoa, now all of a sudden after several days he was an adult with no age given, what a load of BS, he got paid off so that "Elmo" could be the childhood dream again..

    November 13, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. InMyHappyPlace

    If you read the article you would see the part where the accuser was actually 18 or 19 when the relationship happened.

    November 13, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      Age of consent in New York is 17. Most others 16.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wayne

      Shockingly Beb, there are gay people everywhere! They serve your coffee, fix your car, and overlook your bias... idiot.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
    • rick1948

      Or 14 in West Virginia.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  13. markus

    He wasn't 16. That was a lie. Perhaps you didnt actually read the article.

    November 13, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • shadowgirl

      It seems very few people here read the article. The accuser recanted. He then further stated that he WAS an ADULT when the relationship happened. So many people just want to jump on the band wagon and keep their blinders on.

      November 14, 2012 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "stupid IS what stupid DOES"

    corey: (you said) what?!? how can you hold obama accountable for this guy maybe molesting someone? I’m glad your idiot lost.
    No. You cannot hold the POTUS accountable. Beep beep Corey? Are you there Corey? The liberal establishment posts stories like this because Obama has backed himself in a corner TODAY. The media does not want sucessful people "to know" Obama is meeting with union leaders to get thier "input" on the ever so near "fiscal cliff". So. Yeah we'll tell you exactly the unions position on "the cliff". Don't look bi partisan to me.

    November 13, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Huh??? What does one have to do with the other? And why should unions be left out of discussions that directly effect them? It's like leaving out the military when they would be directly affected. Or the medical profession, etc., etc.

      I would MUCH rather that more groups be included, not less. Now *you* may think that only the Koch brothers or Wall St. should be included, but I don't.

      November 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. czar33

    I think Clash liked the young man because he had a "BBD" That one was for you Cresta! Friday-nights was your BBD night!

    November 13, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
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