Elmo Puppeteer Kevin Clash Resigns After Second Accuser Comes Forward

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elmo kevin clashJust when you thought things might be getting back to normal on Sesame Street and Kevin Clash would soon be returning to voice Elmo, the scandal has taken a turn for the absolute worst. Little more than a week after settling matters with a 23-year-old man who initially claimed he had a sexual relationship with Clash when he was 16, Clash has had to face accusations from a second man who says the entertainer initiated a relationship with him 20 years ago, when the man was 15. The second man sued him for $5 million, claiming he had only recently become aware of "adverse psychological and emotional effects." As a result, the puppeteer is officially resigning from Sesame Street.

Sesame Workshop released a statement today, explaining (almost) exactly why both parties reached this decision ...

It reads:

Sesame Workshop's mission is to harness the educational power of media to help all children the world over reach their highest potential. Kevin Clash has helped us achieve that 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. 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.

And in a statement of his own, Clash noted:

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.

Wow ... Well, whether one or both men came forward in an attempt to capitalize on Clash's wealth and fame or there is concrete truth to their accusations, no one wanted to see Clash have to walk away from Sesame Street. Especially not in this way, on account of the fact that this very personal mess is "distracting" from the show's squeaky-clean rep. But given the circumstances, it really does look like Clash and Sesame had no choice but to part ways at this point.  

More from The Stir: Elmo Puppeteer Kevin Clash Can't Recover From This Sex Scandal

Although Elmo will now be played by understudies Clash himself trained, I'm guessing it just won't be the same. Clash -- and by extension, Elmo -- have been a staple of the show for almost three decades and has become a living legend. To think that all of that could potentially be squashed based on these accusations alone is nothing short of deeply disappointing.

How do you feel about Clash's resignation?

Image via Astrid Stawiarz/Getty

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Shanna84 Shanna84

I would think more distressing than Elmo leaving, would be the fact that this man may have been able to use Elmo and Sesame Street to prey on young teens. How do you sleep with a teenager and then go to work on a kids show? 

ruby_... ruby_jewel_04

I call bull shit. The first dude RECANTED. He said he was lying. Then recanted his recantment. WTF? Now all the sudden theres another person trying to get money out of him? I don't buy it. It all just seems a little too fishy. I think both accusers are lying. 

Vegeta Vegeta

"just recently became aware of psychological damage"? More like "just recently became aware he could get big money"

dirti... dirtiekittie

i'm with @vegeta on this one. it's a shame for sesame street and kevin clash that it had to happen this way.

tnyangel tnyangel

Well, the times, they are tough for all of us. If jumping on board and saying "Hey, me too!" was the ticket to $100k? Not everyone that ever met this man will jump forward and lie, but I bet a half a dozen do. This man is being preyed upon in the worst way. 

miche... micheledo

We'll see.  Hopefully that truth comes out.  And soon.

I would hate to hear that this man uses his job/position to prey on young people and that he is lying to everyone.  On the other hand, I would hate to hear that these young men are lying and preying on his position.  Either way it is horrible and until the facts come out, don't make assumptions on how a victime might handle things.

Happy... Happydad73

Wow, some of you women just never cease to amaze me! If these were women claiming that this had been done to them by Peter Jackson you would be marching to Mordor with swords a swingin', but since its your little babies' favorite character's puppeteer and the accusers are men you are just gonna say their automatically lying. How many of you believed the stripper who accused the Duke Lacrosse team of rape simply because she made the allegation?!?

nonmember avatar Sld

After watching the documentary about Kevin I am incredibly disappointed and angry that he possibly did this. Sexual abuse is incredibly pervasive and I would not be surprised if it is true. As a mom I am hurt that my son's favorite puppet is tainted. I teach teenagers and they are children in mind if not in body and they need to be left alone to discover their own sexuality and not be used by adults for their own gratification.

Flori... Floridamom96

This could all have been avoided by Kevin Clash not engaging in sexual relationships with males substantially younger than him. Wether these young men were legal or not it seems clear to me that Kevin Clash preyed on the vulnerable and for that there is no defense.

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