- (Photo: Reuters/Lucas Jackson)
A third 'Elmo lawsuit' has been filed against Kevin Clash, the voice of iconic Sesame Street character Elmo. In the latest suit Clash is accused of plying an underage teenage boy with alcohol and grooming him to partake in sexual activities with him in a Manhattan apartment.
The alleged victim filed the lawsuit on Tuesday in Manhattan Federal Court, which makes it the third time in two weeks Clash has been accused of underage sexual activity.
The accusations have turned the actor's life upside down, and even caused the Emmy award-winning puppeteer to resign from Sesame Street recently.
In the third filed suit, the accuser claims that when he was just 16 years old he met Clash on a gay chat line. The plaintiff, now 29, was an aspiring male model at the time – in 2000 – and says that his online encounter led him to visit Clash at his Manhattan apartment soon after.
The identity of the accuser has not been made public, and the suit has simply been filed under the name "John Doe."
The lawsuit states, "Kevin Clash gave John (Doe) alcohol and groomed him."
It further adds that the pair later "engaged in sexual contact including oral sex."
The claimant is asking for unspecified damages.
Clash has adamantly denied all sexual allegations against him, and he immediately moved to deny the new accusations against him. A spokeswoman for the puppeteer said, "Mr. Clash believes this lawsuit has no merit."
A lawyer for the accuser has said that further details will be revealed at a press conference on Tuesday, but has revealed that his client claims Clash used the pseudonym "Craig" when the pair met online, and also told his client he was just 30 years old.
A few days later the pair agreed to meet, and the accuser asserts it was at this point he realized "Craig" was much older than 30.
The pair's sexual relationship allegedly continued until even after he graduated high school and moved to New York. It was only when he was older than 18 that he realized through an Internet search that his sexual partner was Kevin Clash, he claims.
The third lawsuit is sure to cause further waves in the life of Clash, and follows another lawsuit filed recently by Cecil Singleton – a 24 year old from Manhattan who is claiming $5 million from Clash, saying he had a sexual encounter with Clash when he was just 15 years old.
Both of those lawsuits were preceded by accusations made by Sheldon Stephens who claims Clash had a sexual relationship with him when he was only 16 years old.
Clash has denied all three accusations and maintains his innocence.