Posted On Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 08:46:32 AM
The puppeteer who performs as Elmo on Sesame Street, is taking a leave of absence from the iconic kids’ show in the wake of allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy.
Puppeteer Kevin Clash, 52, has denied the charges, which, according to Sesame Workshop, were first made in June by the accuser, now 23. The NY-based organisation said that its own inquiry, including interviews with the accuser, concluded that claims of underage sexual conduct were unsubstantiated.
“We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action,” it said. Clash, the voice of Elmo for nearly three decades, acknowledged a past relationship with his accuser but said that the allegations against him were false. “I had a relationship with him.
It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to characterise it as something other than what it was,” said Clash (pictured above). He added: “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.”
Clash officially joined the Sesame Street cast in 1984, assuming the Elmo role that year