- (Photo: Reuters/Lucas Jackson)
Elmo Puppeteer, Kevin Clash has resigned from "Sesame Street" after allegations were made against him that he had sexual relations with an under-aged youth.
Last week allegations were made public when a man claimed that Clash had had sex with him when he was a teenager. Clash immediately flatly denied the charges.
A day after that, the accuser recanted his claims. However, a lawsuit was then filed on Tuesday by a second accuser, according to attorney Cecil Singleton.
The accusations have been labeled as a "distraction that none of us want" by Sesame Workshop, and they confirmed that the accusations have led to Clash's decision to leave the show.
Elmo is a persona and voice created by Clash, according to The Associated Press, and he has long been one of the most popular characters on the children's TV show.
Clash as a voice actor has created characters including Elmo, Baby Sinclair, Clifford, Splinter and Hoots the Owl. As of 2012, he was also Sesame Street Muppet Captain and co-executive producer.
Clash first visited the set of Sesame Street in 1978, and it has been reported that in 1979 the main Muppet performers were performing in the bus scene in The Muppet Movie when extra puppeteers were called for in the Sesame Street float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Clash volunteered and was chosen to perform Cookie Monster in the parade.
From 1981 through 1983, Clash was a puppeteer for The Great Space Coaster primarily playing Goriddle Gorilla.
The in 1983 he was hired to perform in 10 episodes of Sesame Street. Clash officially became a puppeteer on Sesame Street in 1984.