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Elmo puppeteer accused of underage relationship

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Posted

Sesame Workshop says allegations of underage conduct are unsubstantiated

hi-elmo-kevin-clash-8col.jpg

Sesame Street puppeteer Kevin Clash has taken a leave of absence from the popular kids' show following allegations

that he had a relationship with a 16-year-old boy. The allegations were first made in June by the alleged partner, who

by then was 23 years old. (Victoria Will/Associated Press)

The puppeteer who performs as Elmo on Sesame Street is taking a leave of absence from the popular kids' show in the wake of allegations that he had a relationship with a 16-year-old boy.

Sesame Workshop said puppeteer Kevin Clash denies the charges, which were first made in June by the alleged partner, who by then was 23.

"We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action," Sesame Workshop said in a statement issued Monday. "We met with the accuser twice and had repeated communications with him. We met with Kevin, who denied the accusation."

The organization said its investigation found the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated. But it said Clash exercised "poor judgment" and was disciplined for violating company policy regarding Internet usage. It offered no details.

"I had a relationship with (the accuser)," Clash told TMZ. "It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to make it into something it was not."

At his request, Clash has been granted a leave of absence in order to "protect his reputation," Sesame Workshop said.

No further explanation was provided, nor was the duration of his leave specified.

"Elmo is bigger than any one person and will continue to be an integral part of `Sesame Street' to engage, educate and inspire children around the world, as it has for 40 years," Sesame Workshop said in its statement.

Sesame Street is currently in production, but other puppeteers are prepared to fill in for Clash during his absence, according to a person close to the show who spoke on condition of anonymity because that person was not authorized to publicly discuss details about the show's production.

"Elmo will still be a part of the shows being produced," that person said.

The 52-year-old Clash has been a Sesame Street puppeteer since 1984, when he was handed the fuzzy red puppet named Elmo and asked to come up with a voice for him. Clash transformed the character, which had been a marginal member of the Muppets troupe for a number of years, into a major star rivaling Big Bird as the face of Sesame Street.

In 2006, Clash published an autobiography, My Life as a Furry Red Monster, and was the subject of the 2011 documentary Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/11/12/elmo-pupeteer-kevin-clash.html

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Posted

More often than not, where there's smoke there is fire! Hope for his sake it's not true, and if it is, he needs to get his ass kicked severely!

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Posted

This goes on way too often on shows with young children, or been revealed a lot as of late in similar circumstances.

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Posted

At his request, Clash has been granted a leave of absence in order to "protect his reputation," Sesame Workshop said.

How is taking time off going to help his reputation?

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Posted

So I take it 16 is under the age of consent where the interaction occurred? Cause it would be legal where I live. Besides if the boy agreed to it back then why bring it up now? Apparently he just wants money. As long as it were consentual this should be ignored period. Society needs to stop rewarding such behavior.

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Posted

Well when you put a group of people, treat what they say as truth and absolutely no questions asked, you will run into grave problems.

Just look at Churches.

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Posted

The Jimmy Savile of puppetry?

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A man who accused Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash of having sex with him when he was a teenage boy has recanted his story.

In a surprising turnabout on Tuesday, the man described his sexual relationship with Clash as adult and consensual.

Clash responded with a statement of his own, saying, "I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest. I will not discuss it further."

The man, who has not identified himself, released his statement through the Harrisburg, Pa., law firm Andreozzi & Associates.

Sesame Workshop, which produces Sesame Street, soon followed up by saying, "We are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode."

The episode began Monday morning, when Sesame Workshop startled the world by announcing that Clash had taken a leave of absence from Sesame Street in the wake of allegations that he had had a relationship with a 16-year-old.

Clash swiftly denied the charges of his accuser, who is now in his early 20s. Clash acknowledged that he is gay but said the relationship was between two consenting adults.

Neither Clash nor Sesame Workshop indicated when he might return to work on the show, on which he has performed as Elmo since 1984.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/11/13/elmo-puppeteer-accused-recants.html

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Posted

Sigh. I guess someone wanted their 15 minutes of fame.

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Posted

It's quite sad how people are just ready to believe any old accusation without any evidence of any kind.

This sort of thing should be kept 100% confidential UNTIL found guilty in court. It just destroys people's lives. This performer is 100% innocent, but you can bet that people will continue to believe the lie.

I hope he sues the guy into the poor house. :angry:

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Posted

16-years-old ... old enough to consent in most places of the world if the other person was not in a position of authority.

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Posted

This sort of thing should be kept 100% confidential UNTIL found guilty in court. It just destroys people's lives. This performer is 100% innocent, but you can bet that people will continue to believe the lie.

While I agree that such claims should be kept confidential it's not possible to assert that he is "100% innocent" - all we know is that the accusation against him has been dropped. It's possible the accusation was true but an arrangement was made behind the scenes; it's also possible it was a deliberate slur as part of an anti-gay agenda; and it's possible that they had broken up and the accuser was just trying to hurt him as revenge. We simply don't know.

It should be assumed that he is innocent but we cannot assert that with 100% certainty.

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It should be assumed that he is innocent but we cannot assert that with 100% certainty.

Nonesense. The guy lied, he admitted to that. The performer is as 100% innocent as he was before the accusation was made. But that won't make a damn bit of difference to those who hate. (And no, I'm not saying you're one of those unpleasant sorts at all).

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