Kevin Clash, Voice of Sesame Street’s Elmo, Resigns After Second Man Comes Forward with Underage Sex Allegations

Sesame Street Workshop has announced the resignation of Kevin Clash, voice of the Elmo muppet:

2_clashSesame 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.

The statement appears to be a response to new allegations from a second accuser.

TMZ reports:

The accuser — who is now in his 30s — has filed a lawsuit against Clash … claiming the two met on a gay phone chat line back in 1993 … when the accuser was 15 years old and Clash was 32.  In the suit, the accuser reveals his name — Cecil Singleton.

Among the allegations, Singleton claims, "[Clash] trolled gay telephone chat line rooms to meet and have sex with underage boys."

In the lawsuit, filed in federal court in NYC, Singleton claims Clash "groomed [the accuser] to gain his trust by, among other things, taking him to nice dinners and giving him money." Singleton claims while Clash was featured on "Sesame Street," he was "preying on teenage boys to satisfy his depraved sexual interests."

Earlier this week, Clash's first accuser Sheldon Stephens, said he was pressured into a settlement and wanted to recant his recantation, saying he didn't lie.

Comments

  1. says

    Sounds bogus to me.

    The scrum bags are going to be coming out of the wood work now, even though Clash no longer works with Sesame Street and is not a “high value target” any more.

    And why didn’t any rich guys hit on me damnit! I was cute once.

  2. Jessica Naomi says

    So a 15-year-old boy was on a gay sex chat line 15 years ago and now is accusing Kevin Clash of “preying on teenage boys to satisfy his depraved sexual interests” which were somehow different from Singleton’s “depraved sexual interests”? WTF

  3. Paul R says

    It’s the fault of both of them. I never would have gone on a gay chat line when I was 15. Had I done so, it would have been my choice and responsibility. I wouldn’t do it today.

    Also, who cares much about the guy who voiced Elmo? It’s a puppet and a creep. There are plenty of both in the world.

  4. Gast says

    What’s up with this reaction against the victims. I was a teen once and back then there were limited options to connect with other gay men. This man seems guilty, otherwise why would he resign? I hope justice is served.

  5. Timzilla says

    That’s what happens when you start paying blackmailers. The last guy was completely credible with his history of theft accusations and arrests. Maybe this one will be more believable but I doubt it.

  6. says

    JJ, we hold teens acountable as adults for murder, why not something like this? If the law is in place to protect people that are assumed to not be able to make adult choices, but that assumption is subject to change, why can’t we apply it to all instances?

  7. Kim says

    If the wanted justice they would have gone to police They want money.As I stated last week Clash is done.Hey guys stay away from teenagers or ten years from now you may get sued after you become rich.

  8. Fenrox says

    Yeah when I was 15 we called those lines all the time. There was a list of local lines you could call in the auditorium catwalk, next to a phone. If you have ever been on one, it’s a quickly degrading fantasy. Like no matter how normal the dude was, it would devolve into diaper talk or something super creepy. Even though the internet wasn’t big and wasn’t pulling in daters, those phone lines were pulling in future 4chan people. So it’s entirely possible while on that line, he was talking naaaaaasty jazz. Good move on the quitting, in the best possible scenario, he dates lots of unsavory guys, the kinds of guys who would come out of the woodwork, etc.

  9. free will says

    What I don’t get is why would a 15 yrs old go on a sex phone line if not to go looking for sex, when he hooked up with Clash he knew what would entail (Clash might not be the only 1 the ‘victim’ has sex with.) – if he was cruising a sex phone line, then he was looking for it. But it still doesn’t excuse Clash for having sex with a minor – if it indeed happened. When I was 15 I always found older men attractive, if I would of had consenting sex with one I wouldn’t scream ‘victim’ 15 yrs later.

  10. free will says

    @fenrox: I get what you’re saying about calling those lines as a teenager but when it got ‘creepy’ you hung up the phone didn’t you? Apparently this ‘victim’ didn’t & decided to pursue the fantasy into reality…he could of just hung up the phone but I think he wanted to have sex with an older man but know since the allegations, he’s found a good way to get some free cash.

  11. Anders says

    Regardless what his ultimate legal determination of guilt (or lack thereof) ends up being — this whole thing reeks of poor judgement on Clash’s part. Imagine the heaps of expensive headaches you would have spared yourself if you had lived as a happily out guy who dates men his own age.

  12. ratbastard says

    So….if you have a young teenage son or daughter, you don’t mind if I [a 35 year old man] hook up with them and ‘groom’ them? No, of course you’d mind,unless you’re a pervert with a serious personality disorder or mental illness.

    Yes, I was a horny 15-16 year old at one time, but I was also still a kid in many ways, and it would have been wrong in a multitude of ways for a grown man to have used me to satisfy his sexual fetish.

    =========

    BTW Clash has received something like 25 Emmy awards. Very impressive. WTF do guys and women like him so often do such reckless sh*t which more often than not destroys their reputation, even career?

  13. QJ201 says

    As grandma used to say “you play, you pay.” And he will. Every under 21 craiglist, chatline, chatroom, hookup site trick he ever had is gonna come crawling out of the woodwork.

  14. Derrick from Philly says

    “Yes, I was a horny 15-16 year old at one time, but I was also still a kid in many ways,…”

    Thank God Rick didn’t get to you. ‘Course you’d have to have been a little darker and named Abdullah.

  15. John says

    The other victim didn’t seem particularly credible or had a really terrible attorney or both. Now that another guy has come forward, it does seem a bit more likely that it is true. For people who have been taken advantage of sexually, it’s difficult to come forward because you often feel like you’re the only one. Once one person comes forward, others eventually do as well.

    And yes, we were all horny teenagers once but that doesn’t mean that we had the maturity or emotional development to engage in sexual activities with adults. Regardless of whether the teens were on a gay chat line, they still are easily subject to manipulation. That’s the nature of the power dynamic between adults and teens. Of course, that’s not necessarily true in all relationships where there’s a power differential, but it’s one that plays out between adults as well.

    There’s a reason that so many people say that the best advice that they’ve received is “It’s okay to say no” (Kylie Minogue is one example as mentioned in an interview posted last week). Saying no is a skill. People feel like they can’t say no to certain other people for a variety of reasons.

    I don’t know if what the accusers are alleging is true, but I’m less skeptical now than I was when the first guy recanted and then recanted his recant.

  16. says

    @Rat, I’d very much mind. I was just pointing out the inconsistancies in how we treat teenagers and the choices they make. In one instance they are an adult, in another they are not. This doesn’t excuse the creepy behaviors of Adult aged individuals but a case like this (a willing teenager who searched out older men) is very different from a case were a unwilling teenager is searched out by an older man). Teenagers are either responsible or they are not, I just think its hypocritical to judge them depending on what makes us feel better regardless of their actual competence to make an adult decision.

  17. ratbastard says

    @Derrick,

    I still can’t understand how I was never molested by a priest, God knows a lot of them were light in the loafers and we all knew it. They had plenty of opportunity. Maybe I was too rough and scruffy for them, and I scared them away or something. Whatever. Truth is if one of them tried sh*t with me, I would have stabbed him.

  18. says

    Really tragic, but it sounds like it was an accident waiting to happen. When you’re involved with kids, reckless personal behavior can bite you hard in the ass! This is a reminder to those of us who mistakenly think we’re fully accepted that myths and stereotypes can still hurt us; it will be harder for openly Gay men to work in a high-profile children’s entertainment capacity now that the Gay = pedophile/pederast thing has risen its ugly head again. The religious Right Wing will hold on to this incident for a minute!

  19. ratbastard says

    @HM2 MATT,

    I hear you. Truth is a grown man should stay the F away from under age teens, period. I understand some of them act and look mature, etc. but it’s absolutely against the law and can RUIN your life if the SHTF afterwards. Being a registered sex offender is a life sentence.

  20. reality says

    These people are waiting several years, even decades, to finally come forward with these “stories”…? What makes now so important, do they need money more than ever? I don’t buy it, especially since scum-media site TMZ is the one “breaking the news” …

  21. Schlukitz says

    When I was 25, I was involved in my first long term relationship with a man six years my senior. He did not coerce me nor was he a dirty old man looking to use/abuse children. I pursued him because he was decent and I was attracted to a man older than myself whom I could look up to, respect and love since I had left home at the age of 14 and no longer had a father.

    Our relationship ended six later (my call) and it never occurred to me to sue him or try to make life difficult for him in any manner. I was thankful for the relationship that we had and we remained friends for many years afterward until he moved to Chicago.

    I just don’t have any patience for people who feel the need to play the blame-game like this POS who comes out of the woodwork, ten years after the fact that he looked for and enjoyed the sexual attention that he got from an older man.

    In my time, we had a name for people like this.

    Gold-diggers.

  22. ratbastard says

    15 and 21 is far less of a big deal than 40+ and 15. At any rate that 21 year old is lucky he was caught with a 15 year old, ending up as a registered sex offender…for life. And a 21 year old should in fact be associating with dudes his own age group. A 21 and 25 year old would have a lot more in common than a 21 and 15 year old.

  23. says

    When I was a teen i totally had a thing for older guys. And the ones with integrity gave me a pat on the head and told me to go find guys my own age.

    to any “younger” people who think that they might find “one of the good ones” – the good ones will send you on your way because they know that there are certain things that Younger People should figure out with Other Younger People.

  24. says

    HM2 – yeah. totally.

    there’s really no such thing as “mature for their age” – everyone is utterly their age. no matter how mature an act they put on.

    i’m 30 and wouldn’t date someone younger than 25. why? because i remember being younger than 25. duh.

    relationships that exist in spite of an age difference can work. relationships that exist BECAUSE OF an age difference are doomed from the start.

  25. Nat says

    “to any “younger” people who think that they might find “one of the good ones” – the good ones will send you on your way because they know that there are certain things that Younger People should figure out with Other Younger People.”

    Co-signed.

    It’s perfectly acceptable for a child or teenager to have sexual or romantic feelings for an adult. It’s not acceptable – ever – for an adult to reciprocate those feelings through actions.

    And quite frankly, it does say something when you see the frequency with which certain older men just happen to always have teenage boys pursuing them. It casts doubt on this argument of pursuit by the younger in the relationship.

  26. Bill says

    With respect to JJ’s comment about Javier, I presume Javier was not blaming a 15 year old, but rather questioning the credibility of a 30-something guy’s claim.

    The first web browser usable enough to attract the general public came out in early 1993, and you didn’t have a lot of web sites until mosaic was widely deployed. So, how did this guy, at the age of 15, discover a gay chat line? Did he live in a city where it would be easier to find some gay-oriented publications, or did he live in suburbia where it would not be so easy?

  27. Scar2 says

    It’s disturbing how some people are making light of the situation. These teenagers may not have been “innocent” but Clash still broke the law. This is just bad judgment on his part. He’s no different from those married politicians who cheat on their wives – part of the thrill must have been because it was dangerous. Seriously, if he liked young guys, there would have been plenty of guys who were at least 18 willing to sell their soul & body as evidenced by comments here.

  28. Diogenes Arktos says

    While I was willing to give Clash a strong benefit of the doubt with #1, I cannot now. Based on Clash’s age, this behavior with boys was probably during his sham marriage to a woman. By explanation but not excuse.

  29. Randy says

    How far is this going to go? Cecil called a phone sex line and got dinner (and we assume, sex). Two decades later, it’s a court case?

    This is, quite frankly, an abuse of the law.

  30. Marty says

    Innocent or guilty, Clash is already screwed. Given the nature of his work, his career is over, no matter how this plays out. He will never, ever be free of this, even if he is innocent. He should get extensive plastic surgery and move to Thailand or something.

  31. Brian in Texas says

    Kevin Clash is worth tens of millions of dollars. He’s been doing Elmo for over 25 years. He gets back end money on merchandising, etc. He’ll be just fine.

    While he certainly used bad judgement in hooking up with some of these younger guys; it is grotesque that these men would now come out of the wood work for money.

  32. Billy says

    Such a sad story.

    I watched Saving Elmo this past weekend on Netflix due to all the media attention. I found Kevin to be so warm and kind. In fact, I cried.

    I wish everyone involved good vibes. I can’t judge. I just pray all comes to a better outcome.

  33. tyler says

    When I was 15 I had sex with a 30 year old sergeant under the stars and I loved it. I would never throw him under the bus, regardless of who he was especially 15 years later.

  34. NeverEclipsed81 says

    I still don’t know.. This new accuser has holes in his story. He’s a trans guy that broke up with Kevin because he felt Kevin liked him too much. This was when he was an adult, years after the alleged molestations, that probably never occurred.. Yeah, because who wouldn’t want to date someone who makes money every time someone buys an Elmo doll.. Well I guess he doesn’t have to date him for his money if he sues him for molestation and gets a 5 million dollar check.. I think I’ll sue next, I was in a toy store once and an Elmo doll rubbed me the wrong way, give me a million dollars please.

  35. Billy Crytical says

    Extortion. The second low-life saw that the first got a big settlement and wants a piece. He has bad character now because he had bad character then. He was on a phone sex line to have sex with older men.

  36. Bill says

    The idea that Kevin Cash must have done something because there are now two accusers is based on a faulty assumption. It would be a reasonable assumption if multiple individuals made such accusations independently, but the second seems to have popped up after there were news reports indicating some sort of settlement with #1. As a result #2 has a believable motive for lying (getting a lot of money) plus an opportunity to have known the details regarding #1 before making the second accusation.

    The problem is that the probability that someone is guilty given an accusation can be far different and much lower than than the probability of an accusation given that one is guilty.

  37. Erik says

    With the most recent allegation said to have occurred 20 years ago, what evidence can there possibly be besides his word? Just because someone says something doesn’t mean it’s true. There has to be corroborating evidence.

    Allegations like these against someone who is very wealthy are suspect when the accusers pursue a civil case first, rather than a criminal case. They’re not seeking justice through a criminal court. They’re seeking money through a civil court. That can not be ignored.

  38. Erik says

    With the most recent allegation said to have occurred 20 years ago, what evidence can there possibly be besides his word? Just because someone says something doesn’t mean it’s true. There has to be corroborating evidence.

    Allegations like these against someone who is very wealthy are suspect when the accusers pursue a civil case first, rather than a criminal case. They’re not seeking justice through a criminal court. They’re seeking money through a civil court. That can not be ignored.

  39. DC Arnold says

    I was watching a rerun of Bill Maher and one of his predictions was “Man who dedicates his life to children turns out to be a Creep”. Mr Clash brought this on himself because he refused to get counseling as an adult to deal with what happened to him.

  40. Diogenes Arktos says

    Clash should have learned from the gay Paul Reubens, better known as Pee-Wee Herman. Reubens was a heavy smoker but was very careful not to be photographed smoking. However… He was arrested in 1991 for masturbating (alone!) in an X-rated movie theater. At least he was “watching” a straight flick.

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