*For Kevin Clash it seems that the coming forward of another young man to claim he had underage sex with him, was too much.
The man who has been the puppeteer and voice of the Elmo character on “Sesame Street” since 1985, has resigned from the Sesame Workshop amid on-going controversy over allegations of a sexual relationship with minors.
As we’ve reported, Sheldon Stephens, 24, accused Clash of having sex with him when he was just 16-years-old. Clash took a leave of absence but rejected the charges, and Sesame Workshop issued a statement saying that they had investigated the accusations and found no impropriety. Then on Monday, as we reported, Stephens took back his recant and said he was paid to say the alleged underage sex didn’t happen.
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The end came this morning when the Sesame Workshop issued a statement saying:
“Sesame 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.”
To make matters worse, as we alluded at the beginning of this story, a second man came forward to accuse Clash of having sex with him while he was underage. Cecil Singleton filed a lawsuit in which he alleges that he met Clash on a gay phone line in the 1990′s, when he was just 15-years-old; he is suing for $5 million.
According to TMZ, he is only coming forward now, 20 years later, because “did not become aware that he had suffered adverse psychological and emotional effects from Kevin Clash’s sexual acts and conduct until 2012.”