Kevin Clash, the man behind Sesame Street's beloved Elmo, has been accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy, which he adamantly denies. Kevin has since taken a leave of absence following the scandal.
According to TMZ, a 23-year-old man met with Sesame Workshop lawyers, claiming he began a sexual relationship with Clash 7 years ago when he was 16 and Clash was 45. Clash admits to having a relationship with the man, but insists they were both adults at the time of the relationship.
Sesame Workshop lawyers spoke to TMZ, revealing "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."
After meeting with Sesame lawyers the accuser felt that they were trying to silence him, and he lawyered up with Andreozzi and Associates, the firm that represented one of the victims in the Jerry Sandusky child rape case.
While Andreozzi feels that Sesame "places a greater value on a puppet than the well being of a young man," Sesame claims they conducted a thorough investigation, but the accuser couldn't supply evidence. Officials have been suspicious about the accuser, who claims to have an email from Clash admitting he was in a relationship with the man while he was underage, but officials believe the email is fraudulent.
Clash spoke to TMZ about the allegations, saying "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 also spoke on the state of Elmo, saying "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."