Kevin Clash, the longtime voice and puppeteer behind Sesame Street’s Elmo character, has resigned in the aftermath of allegations — which Sesame Workshop had previously said were unfounded — that he had an underage sexual relationship.
According to the NY Daily News, a second accuser has now come forward, alleging that he and Clash engaged in a sexual relationship while he was a teenager.
Cecil Singleton, who is now in his 30s, said he and Clash hooked up on a gay phone sex line in 1993 when he was 15 and the muppeteer was 32, according to a new $5 million lawsuit first reported by TMZ.Singleton said Clash “trolled” phone sex lines to meet boys and wooed him with gifts of cash and fancy dinners, the lawsuit said, according to TMZ.
Clash was “preying on teenage boys to satisfy his depraved sexual interests” while at the same time working as the voice behind the beloved character on the landmark PBS children’s show, the lawsuit said.Singleton was coming forward now because the psychological damage he suffered from the relationship didn’t hit him until this year, the suit said.
In a statement released Tuesday, Sesame Workshop said:
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.
Read more at the NYTimes.
Thoughts on this latest development?
Sound off below!