Kevin Clash resigns as voice of Sesame Street’s Elmo
Wednesday, 28 November 2012 13:27

Leaves hit show amid allegations of underage sex

by Nicole Rodman

    Turner Station native Kevin Clash, the puppeteer behind Sesame Street’s Elmo, resigned   last Tuesday amid continuing claims of sexual contact with minors.
    As The Eagle reported previously, on Nov. 13 allegations of a sexual relationship between Clash and a 16-year-old boy fell apart as the now-24-year-old accuser recanted his statement.
    Though the initial accuser released a statement noting that his relationship with Clash did not begin until after he was a legal adult, Clash resigned from Sesame Street last week after a second accuser came forward.
    In a statement explaining his decision, Clash stated, “I am resigning from Sesame Workshop with a very heavy heart.

    “I have loved every day of my 28 years working for this exceptional organization,” he noted, adding,  “Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work Sesame Street is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer. I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately.”
    Earlier last Tuesday, Sesame Workshop officials  announced Clash’s decision to leave the long-running children’s television show.
    In a statement released last week, officials said, “Kevin Clash has helped us achieve [our] mission for 28 years, and none of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization.”
    The statement continued, “Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us wants, 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.”
    Clash took a leave of absence from the show earlier this month after allegations first emerged that Clash had engaged in a sexual relationship with a then-16-year-old boy.
    After days of public scrutiny, the accuser recanted his accusation, publicly stating that his relationship with Clash began as an adult.
    However, by early last week a second accuser had come forward.
    In a $5 million lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in New York last week, now-24-year-old Cecil Singleton alleged that he had a sexual relationship with Clash as a 15-year-old.
    In the suit, Singleton claims that Clash “persuaded, induced, coerced or enticed” into sex by “taking him to nice dinners and giving him money.”
    In remarks to the Baltimore Sun last Tuesday, Singleton’s attorney, Jeff Herman, explained that though Singleton “saw himself as a pretty sophisticated 15-year-old, but knowing these potential other teenagers are out there, he thinks they could be much more vulnerable and by exposing the truth, maybe those kids can get help and he can stop it from going any further.”
    Sesame Workshop officials have not commented on what Clash’s departure means for the future of Elmo.