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Good news for Elmo fans. The young man who claims he had underage sex with Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash has recanted his story. Now he says his affair with Clash was "an adult consensual relationship." He has dropped his case. The announcement came this afternoon after meetings between the respective parties' lawyers.
Kevin Clash says, "I am relieved that this painful accusation has been put to rest. I will not discuss it further." And I can't blame the guy. I wouldn't want to discuss it, either. Sesame Workshop has backed up their puppeteer, though they did put Clash on leave during the scandal. So now the question is, will Clash return to Sesame Street? Or was the sex scandal, even if it was false, too damaging to Clash's image?
Sesame Workshop hasn't said whether Clash will return to the show. They only said, "We are pleased that this matter has been brought to a close, and we are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode." But TMZ says the case was dropped soon after lawyers for the respective parties met this afternoon. Sources tell them a six-figure settlement was on the table. But that doesn't mean Clash paid hush money -- that's just a rumor.
And now we see how this thing is going to haunt Clash forever. Even though his accuser has dropped his case, there will always be lingering doubts. It's nearly impossible to recover completely from a scandal like this.
I want to believe the accusations were false. It's just too awful to think that a man who brought so much joy to so many kids could take advantage of a teenage boy. We'll never know. And I hate that. Meanwhile, parents everywhere wait to see if Elmo will return to Sesame Street -- with or without his creator.
Do you think the dropped charges really mean that the accusations were false?
Image via AGeekMom/Flickr