Kevin Clash accuser retracts statement he had underage gay sex with Elmo voice
Published November 14, 2012
NEW YORK – The man who accused Sesame Street's "voice of Elmo," Kevin Clash, of having a sexual encounter with him when he was 16 has retracted his statements about the PBS puppeteer.
In a statement sent to FOX 411 from the unnamed accuser’s attorneys, the 23-year-old took back his allegation.
“He wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship,” the statement read. “He will have no further comment on the matter.”
Clash, who has taken a leave of absence to deal with the accusation, is happy to be done with the investigation.
"I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest,” Clash said in a statement sent to FOX 411. “I will not discuss it further."
Still, the shadow of the scandal was an anomaly for the squeaky clean show and its normally behind-the-scenes "Sesame Street" personality. While the legalities involved with Clash's relationship appear to have been settled, having a sex scandal linked to one of the most beloved kids' characters of all time has left some with a bad taste in their mouth.
"So Elmo is apparently NOT a child molester. But a May / December romance with a puppet is still really creepy," one user tweeted.
Another Twitter user chimed in: "Kevin Clash's accuser may have recanted, but the damage is done. Elmo will never be the same."
Clash has a daughter and was once married, according to his IMDB profile. He is also the highest-paid Muppeteer ever, according to the database.
In 2011, Clash gave fans an up-close look at the man behind the muppet when he starred in the documentary "Being Elmo."
Clash also co-authored a book about his journey in 2006 titled "My Life as a Furry Red Monster: What Being Elmo Has Taught Me About Life, Love and Laughing Out Loud."