Elmo actor Kevin Clash has resigned amid claims of underage sexual abuse, Sesame Workshop revealed today.

Kevin Clash was first accused of an inappropriate sexual relationship by aspiring model Sheldon Stephens, who has a history of arrests including allegedly robbing a former boss of a $250,000 necklace at knife point.

Stephens recanted his abuse claims but later expressed regret over signing the $125,000 deal which required him to take back the allegations.

Kevin Clash is now being sued by Cecil Singleton, who claims he met 32 year-old Kevin in a gay phone chat when he was only 15.

On the heels of both Stephens and Singleton’s claims, Clash resigned from Sesame Street. Sesame Workshop released this statement: “Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us want, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from Sesame Street. This is a sad day for Sesame Street.”

Source

  • Fatima

    Damn…

  • Yvette

    I’m so split on this whole situation. If he did indeed have sex with these young men of course he should face the consequences, but I’m not 100% convinced that he’s guilty. Plus, it’s a shame that he lost his job over all of this. After seeing his documentary, “Being Elmo”, being a puppeteer was his destiny.

  • SpkKay

    I am not sure about anyone else, but I most certainly would not offer any monetary compensation, deal, etc for something that I was completely unguilty of doing. I am not sure if sexual intercourse actually occurred between he and the alleged victims. However, he had to have done SOMETHING that was inappropriate and potentially unethical or illegal to strike a deal with the first accuser as well as resign.

  • http://valsotherblog.wordpress.com Val

    Whatever happened, this is sad. Kevin’s entire legacy has been ruined. Also, his family has to deal with this. Unfortunately it doesn’t even really matter if he’s guilty. People will assume where there is smoke there is fire.

  • http://lorrikey.com Lorri

    He had too. It’s a family show and any allegation or appearance is still going to taint his ability to work in the environment. Sucks, but it’s true.

  • Toni

    Charges need to be filed against Mr. Kevin Clash, I am sure there are other teenagers he sexually assualted. This case started off with one accuser, now it as jumped too number two (2).

  • The Comment

    When people do something soo awesome…as in create a lovable character for toddlers to go nuts over….. I want them to just fix their mess and get on with it. You know?

    Were they really under-aged? Really???? You’re on a gay chat line and now you claim you were taken advantage of. Really? How does that work? So now we got to scramble to find a voice that matches the original. These blood suckers. Can’t see the bigger picture for shit. Out of all the suga daddies you got to f*ck up Mr. Clashes career.

    Now Mr. Clash…….just fix it. You are not the first married man/gay man w/kids…..to get busted. It is not that deep anymore. Just keep it moving. We all got big azz bones in the closet and thank god we ain’t famous.

  • http://twitter.com/_BrownSugarBbyy A s h l e y . (@_BrownSugarBbyy)

    Where there’s smoke there is fire. There is nothing glamorous to be gained by these men for these allegations; such allegations should always be thoroughly investigated and the truth found out. I feel no sympathy for Clash.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rochee.jeffrey RJ

    The guy who is accusing him now is 35 years old and is saying this happened 20 years ago. Why not go to he police? Why are you suing him for 5 million dollars. The guy who originally made these accusations has a felony criminal record including the robbery of $250,000 worth of jewelry at knife point. I call bullshit on all of this.

  • The Comment

    bullchit x’s 100!

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    keep your dick in your pants?

  • kc

    It’s unfortunate that Clash was outed in this manner. No one should be forced out of the closet. Otherwise, I feel no sympathy for him. He admits that he knew Sheldon when Sheldon as 16, but did not begin the relationship until he was 18. Really?!? We’re you scoping him out and waiting for the fruit to ripen? In what situation is it appropriate for a 45 year old to have a deep emotional and/or romantic relationship with a child, even if it’s not physical? Something’s fishy here… Clash will reap what he sowed.

  • Yvette

    Revenge and money are certainly things to be “gained”. Not saying that’s what happened in this situation, but they are reasons why people make false allegations.

  • Yvette

    In an adult, consensual relationship? Why?

  • http://www.facebook.com/rochee.jeffrey RJ

    Oh, and another thing. This is what happens when you are famous and lead a closeted life (not saying he wasn’t out to his family). People can take advantage of you and prey on the fact that the public does not know about your sexuality. Notice how this kind of stuff never/rarely comes out about men who are openly gay.

    I honestly think that Kevin Clash is being set up by these folks who have nothing but money to gain from the situation. Sesame Street conducted their own investigation into the original allegations over a year ago and determined that there was no wrongdoing. I feel like they would have every reason to dismiss Kevin Clash if they felt like it would harm their brand. And they didn’t, which says a lot.

    I feel horrible that his legacy is being tarnished by all of this nonsense. This is a lesson for older gay men, stop messing with these emotionally volatile younger guys who have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

  • http://twitter.com/gennatay Gennatay (@gennatay)

    Exactly, it looks like they are just want money. The fact that the first accuser recanted the allegation and then wanted to say he was bullied into taking $125,000 casts serious doubt over all of this. I have NEVER heard of someone accusing someone of sexual abuse and asking for money first before the criminal trial. If this is all false, Clash should definitely sue them both for defamation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rochee.jeffrey damn

    It is easy to say that when you have never been in a comparable situation where your entire life is being trashed. There is no way for Kevin Clash to win in this situation. If he pays the guy off, he looks guilty – but it shuts the guy up quickly. If he sues the guy for defamation, it prolongs the embarrassment. Once you are accused of something like this, your whole life is over, even if you are exonerated. I feel like people who make false accusations like this should have to spend a minimum of 5 years in jail. These stories just don’t add up.

  • Purple Rain

    Right! If these were such heinous crimes, why didn’t BOTH accusers just go to the police? Why is this a civil matter at all? Especially when there is no evidence to substantiate either claim?? This is about money and nothing more!

  • Starla

    I don’t know what to say about this. I am a HUGE Muppets fan, and news like this just crush me. Not only is Kev off Sesame Street, he will also be out of all future Jim Henson productions.

    We all have failings, but I would have preferred to hear any other thing else than this. If these allegations are untrue and he pissed off the wrong person who is now out for blood, I hope that he is fully exonerated.

  • Mike

    F*gs are trying to indoctrinate you. First gay marriage then it’s Yeah I phucked your son BUT he knew what he was doing. He was a teenager!

  • http://www.facebook.com/rochee.jeffrey damn

    So the millions of heterosexual men who rape and molest girls (girls, btw, are the victims in 70 percent of child sex abuse cases), are as a result of straight men pushing their heterosexual agenda. And, as far as this case goes, both of these men are gay men. They were gay before they had sex with Kevin Clash and they were gay after the fact.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rochee.jeffrey facts

    Last time I checked, an 18 year old is an adult. And the age of consent in many states is actually 16 and in NY, where this allegedly happened, the age of consent is 17. Is it the most prudent thing for anyone who is a grown ass adult to do? NO. But, I went to college with many girls who were having affairs and sleeping with professors who were more than twice their age. As far as I know, it wasn’t illegal – even though it was inappropriate. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters.

  • Cia Bia

    Totally not a gay issue.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    his victims were children….

  • AM

    LOL!

    Hey boo.

  • AM

    My question is, why report now, not then? I sure hope that this man is being framed. I really honestly do.

  • D.T.

    I can’t believe how many of you are defending this booty pirate!

  • AM

    Oh my! Sexual orientation here is NOT the issue. Sexual abuse is.

  • Mike

    lol, Gay is a lifestyle mostly caused by indoctrination. Not all homo’s “are born that way” Clash, by the way, is a divorced father.

    Secondly, THEY WERE TEENS. What don’t you understand about it’s inappropriate for adults to have sexual contact with teens?

  • Chillyroad

    @RJ

    Excellent points. That’s why what happened with General Patreas was a big deal. People can be black mailed. Imagine if one of the women Patreas was involved with was an agent of a hostile government. It sounds like fiction but its not unprecedented. Every man has a weakness.

    I hope the allegations aren’t true.

  • Queen

    We Dry-Humped
    … But NO Intercourse!
    “Cecil says he broke off the initial relationship because he felt Kevin liked him too much — and Cecil didn’t think he could handle the relationship”
    OH!!! But wait, it gets better….
    “…suing Clash for more than $5 million in damages … claiming he’s suffering psychological and emotional issues caused by the relationship”

    http://www.tmz.com/2012/11/20/elmo-cecil-singleton-dry-hump-sexual-intercourse-kevin-clash/

  • Anthony

    Situations like Clash’s are why gay relationships need to be encouraged to be open, and why gay marriage should be legalized. Gay men who cannot come out can too easily fall into the type of relationships that Clash has been accused of having that have obvious negative consequences.

    I know Clash has been out, but I am sure that for years, he was in the closet, and that was when these alleged abuse is said to have occurred.

  • Shepherd

    And people wonder why so many people were in denial about Jerry Sandusky. Yeah I get it; he’s black, seems like a nice guy and is the man behind Elmo, but you have to look at the situation for what it is than just jump to ‘victim’ blaming. Maybe there is a statute of limitation barring these men from bringing criminal proceedings and that’s why this is a civil matter. I don’t know what it’s like to be sued over something like this so I can’t speculate on Kevin’s reasons for paying the first accuser to recant his statement. However grown ass men should NOT be messing with underage or even barely legal teenagers whether they consent or not. That’s an impressionable age that shouldn’t be taken advantage of. He was the adult in these situations. I hope all parties can move on from this without too much detriment

  • msbklyn

    Man forget all of that….. No more Elmo :(

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    i am keeping it in my pants…..

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    “Last time I checked, an 18 year old is an adult”

    sorry, you are not supposed to be fucking the young ones….

  • The Comment

    Oh lawd! They just showed a vid of the accuser. My God! My God! My God! Look like long hair don’t care on estrogen.

  • q. banks

    this is nasty

  • Anthony

    Amen! It is so easy to excuse peope we like and condemn those we don’t like.

  • SpkKay

    Actually I HAVE experienced a situation that consisted of my life being turned upside down based on HEARSAY versus EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE. A competent lawyer would NEVER file a case such as this one without empirical evidence. The aforementioned is exactly why I am adamant about fighting for the TRUTH and what is just/right versus settling. Based on your theories, it’s a lose lose situation either way because his name has already been associated with having indecent liberties with a minor. Therefore, if the damage is already done and if he is truly innocent, what more does he have to lose? He was already outted, and his career, family, and reputation have been jeopardized. The money that was previously given to the first accuser as well as the potential payout for the most recent once could have gone towards legal council as well as a countersuit for defamation. I absolutely REFUSE to willingly allow everything that I’ve worked hard to accomplish to disappear in the blink of an eye knowing that I didn’t do anything wrong. Now, if i did something questionable or that may corroborate the alleged behavior, then I would most certainly attempt to take a more bearable consequence. I could also understand him settling to avoid excessive monetary losses if he was fiscally strained. However, money is not an issue apparently. Nonetheless, the lesson in all of this is simple; EVERY decision that we make has a consequence. Be mindful of what you are doing, how it may be perceived by others, and who you are allowing into your personal space.

  • The Other Jess

    It’s completely wrong for anyone, men or women, gay or straight, to sexually approach underage boys or girls, or even barely legal boys or girls. Child molesters and pedophiles are almost like murderers – they ruin many lives, cause psychological damage to the victim, and keep a cycle of abuse going since many of those who have been abused as youths go on to later repeat the same crime against other youths.

  • The Other Jess

    Either way, Mr. Clash still admitted to being with a young man who was 17/18 years old at the time. While technically legal in New York, that is still MUCH too young for a very grown man to approach him sexually. It’s wrong and who knows? Maybe the original accuser was previously abused as a child which is why he ended up prostituting himself later in life and looking to Clash for sex.

    Child sexual abuse does horrible things to people mentally. Many act out in ways that are detrimental to themselves, including acquiescing to inappropriate relationships and turning to the streets. Child sexual abuse should never be taken lightly, and Sesame Street is all about children and young teens.

    Clash should definitey be removed from any future jobs where he has contact with children and teens. Imagine if it was your young son or daughter being approached by a 40-ish/50-ish man or woman.

    We all make mistakes and I am not one to cast the first stone.But we must protect our children, by any means possible.

  • Mademoiselle

    Heterosexual marriage is encouraged and legal, yet young girls get sexually abused often. I won’t opine on the facts of Clash’s situation, but pedophilia is pedophilia and abuse is abuse — doesn’t matter what the social constructs are. I think the focus should be more on encouraging people who have urges to hurt other people to seek preventive therapy, and to teach kids at a very young age what appropriate interactions are and how to safely defend themselves from malicious people even if those malicious people are adults/superiors.

  • Mademoiselle

    What’s not so ironic — and I’m sure is also not so coincidental — is I didn’t know who the voice of Elmo was until this year because of all the recent (pre-accusation) publicity about the documentary, and shortly after Clash becoming “famous,” he’s hit with 6-figure allegations.

    What I hope this does not become is a cue for victims of sexual abuse to wait until their assailants are sufficiently “famous” to come forward with their stories. I have to wonder how long these men would have gone silent had Clash not been making a name for himself recently (assuming there’s truth to what they allege). Revenge/payoffs shouldn’t be the motive for reporting abuse.

    What I also hope this does not become is a new get rich scheme for people who want to legally exploit the “famous” people in their lives.

    I guess all I’m saying is the timing is suspicious and I wish for the best/most just outcome to prevail.

  • Mademoiselle

    They keep several muppeteers trained. I don’t think they’ll have a hard time finding an Elmo voice replacement. The only harm to the show would be if parents haven’t shielded their children from this news.

  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

    Dude was into trade with his old perverted a$$, which is basically young boys who sex older men for monetary gain or whatever. An ancient term for trade is catamite, google it, been going on for centuries. Same thing with that fraud of a Bishop named Long etc etc etc

  • The Comment

    True. But these men are a millions miles away from being victims. Mr. Clash was probably more than gentlemanly with them. Probably the best they ever had and this is what he gets in return.

  • Anthony

    I know that abuse could happen still if gay marriage were legal and gays were able to function as openly as straight people. My point is that because of discrimination, gay people have to come into their sexuality in a much more covert way than straight people, and I am certain that having to sneak around lends itself to situations that are exploitive more than people in open relationships.

  • Mademoiselle

    @Anthony. I can see whre you’re coming from if I look at it from the kids’ perspective — if an adult that’s out to victimize you is the only authority figure validating who you are, then the homosexual stigma could make that kid/teen more susceptible to this kind of abuse. But then, my immediate reaction would still be that it’s less about homosexuality and more about the kid being taught at an early age what healthy interactions are because similar abuses happen to young girls who grew up without any healthy male role models. There are young girls running around with significantly older men because those men are the first to show them co-ed affection. Then there’s also the less often noted female/female abuse. One key theme is where these kids are seeking out affection; the other is adults that act on these insecurities unchecked. Both would still happen if gay marriage were universally legal because we’re skipping over the necessary teaching and counseling.

  • The Other Jess

    Well not really. Clash has been famous for years, just as Elmo. A puppeteers persona is generally the puppet, not the person. The accusers could have come out years ago when Elmo was even more popular, so I don’t think it has anything to do with him being famous now. Maybe they had other reasons for coming out about Clash now.

  • Mademoiselle

    That’s possible Other Jess. Even if they came out years ago, Clash’s identity as Elmo would’ve been revealed in the process. You’re right. Guess I’ll just wait for more info to unfold with the reasons.

  • JaeBee

    What does pedophilia have to do with marriage (be it gay or straight) period?! Someone who is sexually attracted to children and acts upon that isn’t gonna somehow be cured by being allowed to get married. Their attraction to someone else may not completely be based on gender, but it’s most assuredly based upon the other person’s age.

  • james

    according to the article cecil wasnt even born for another 5 years or so just sayin

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