Kevin Clash, Voice of Sesame Street’s Elmo, Takes Leave, Denies Inappropriate Conduct with Teen

Kevin Clash, the voice of Sesame Street's Elmo for the past 28 years, has taken a leave of absence amid accusations he had an inappropriate relationship with an underage teen when the teen was 16 and Clash was 45.

Elmo_clashCNN reports:

In June, the workshop heard from a 23-year-old man who claimed that he had "a relationship" with Clash beginning when he was 16 years old, the workshop said in a written statement.

The statement did not use the word "sexual."

"We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action. We met with the accuser twice and had repeated communications with him. We met with Kevin, who denied the accusation. We also conducted a thorough investigation and found the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated. Although this was a personal relationship unrelated to the workplace, our investigation did reveal that Kevin exercised poor judgment and violated company policy regarding internet usage and he was disciplined," the Sesame Street Workshop statement said.

"Kevin insists that the allegation of underage conduct is false and defamatory and he is taking actions to protect his reputation. We have granted him a leave of absence to do so.

Clash released a statement yesterday:

"I am a gay man. I have never been ashamed of this or tried to hide it, but felt it was a personal and private matter. I had a relationship with the accuser. It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to characterize it as something other than what it was. I am taking a break from Sesame Workshop to deal with this false and defamatory allegation."

TMZ also reports on an email exchange between Clash and his accuser:

In the email — sent well after the accuser turned 18 — Clash writes, "I'm sorry that I keep talking about sex with you, its driving me insane." He adds, "I want you to know that I love you and I will never hurt you. I'm here to protect you and make sure your dreams come true."

Clash continued, "I'll have my assistant book a ticket for you to come to NY and we can talk about this in person."

As we previously reported, Clash has acknowledged having a sexual relationship with the accuser but insists it only took place AFTER the accuser was an adult.


  1. says

    few batt an eyelash when it’s “straight”….

    i don’t like getting mired in the “legalities” of state by state age of consent laws, as i feel, frankly, that there are some things that “younger people” should figure out with other younger people.

    heck, i’ll raise an eyebrow when a 30 year old dates a 20 year old.

    what issues does this raise? issues of closeted-ness in adults, and their lack of judgment at what they see could be an “opportunity” for a homosexual outlet?
    is the young man going to press formal charges, or go for a lawyer-approved settlement? mere defamation?

    the plot shall thicken

  2. Paul R says

    I couldn’t care less about this absurd claim that people can’t have sex until they’re 18. I know people who started having sex when they were 11, which I will grant is too early—but they turned out fine. By the time I was 18 I was a year from graduating from college. People become sexual when they hit puberty. This hand wringing over a forced, pretend juvenile identity is absurd.

    That said, someone working for a children’s show likely should have exercised better judgment. I can’t imagine even knowing a teen who isn’t a relative. And the thought of messing around with them is gross.

  3. says

    uh, not really. i’m just pointing out that the “straight story” isn’t making massive media rounds like this one is.

    i’m not suggesting it’s ok at all. i’m pointing out that when it’s Straight, people don’t batt an eyelash.

    it’s like i was saying about disliking the “legality issues” dealing with age of consent.

    some legal loophole of “well, it was age of consent so it’s ok” doesn’t make me think that it still isn’t a massive lapse of judgment on the part of the “older” member.

    i’m 30. i’d never date a 20 year old. why? there are some things that 20 year olds should figure out with other 20 year olds.

    and yeah. that also applies to teens. BIG time.

  4. ratbastard says

    It’s obvious these kids shows and entertainers, along with MANY teachers, clergy, people with authority, ‘Respect’, are perverts with a sexual fetish for UNDER-AGE KIDS. The scandals are now coming fast and furious, thanks to the internet information revolution, and the fact these pervs can no longer rely on the old very limited and easier to control mainstream media, who simply helped in covering up past scandals. They ignored and didn’t report many things, covered up A LOT of stuff, that are now no longer ignored or covered up.

    This Clash character knows better and what he did [HE TOOK ADVANTAGE OF SOMEONE IN A FAR WEAKER POSITION AND WHO WASN’T A FULLY MATURE ADULT] is wrong. I know there are a considerably number of pervs both on here and in the gay community at large who’ll never waste an opportunity to make themselves feel better about their pervert fetishes for UNDER-AGE KIDS. I understand the internet empowers people like this because it helps them hook up with like minded pervs. As a mature adult, a human being, and a gay man, it disgusts me no matter who does it. And I’m far from being prudish.

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