Kevin Clash, who provided the voice for the beloved Sesame Street character Elmo, has resigned his position with the show following a second accusation that he had sex with an underage man. The man, Cecil Singleton, who at the time was 15 years old, claims Clash met him on a gay telephone chat line and convinced him to have sex by giving him favors and money. The first accuser, Sheldon Sevens, who retracted his claim but has since resissued his claim, said he was offered a six-figure settlement and pressure from legal advisers to recant.
Sesame Street released a statement calling it a “sad day” and that Clash had helped them achieve their educational mission for 28 years. “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 want, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned.”
Since beginning work as the voice of Elmo in 1984, Clash had won 23 Daytime Emmy Awards and one prime-time Emmy. The lawsuit seeks in excess of $5 million. Read more on this story here.