The man behind the voice of iconic Sesame Street puppet Elmo has resigned amid shocking allegations of underage gay sex, The Huffington Post reports. Despite coughing up $125,000 in hush money to the man who accused him of underage sex, Kevin Clash could not overcome the troubling gay sexual innuendoes surrounding Elmo.
Mr. Clash, 52, took a leave of absence from Sesame Street after sometime model Sheldon Stephens, now 23, accused Clash of seducing him when he was only 16.
Sesame Street officials initially supported Clash, calling the Stephens’ claims unsubstantiated. But after Clash paid off his accuser, Sesame Workshop called the gay controversy “a distraction that none of us want.”
Stephens recanted his accusation and signed an agreement admitting his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was “an adult consensual relationship.” But Stephens quickly recanted his recantation, claiming he was pressure into signing the agreement and pocketing the phat check.
Clash is a divorced father of a grown daughter. It is not clear if Sesame Workshop plans to hire another puppeteer to replace Clash.
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