*Kevin Clash, the Emmy-winning Elmo puppeteer and target of a trio of lawsuits alleging underage sex abuse, is “pleased” after a New York City judge ruled Monday that his accusers’ claims were filed too late and are thereby barred by the statute of limitations.
“Kevin is pleased by the judge’s decision,” his attorney, Michael G. Berger, said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “As we have maintained all along, our goal has been to put these spurious claims behind him so that Kevin can go about the business of re-claiming his personal life and his professional standing, which was recently recognized once again by the three Emmys he won last month.”
Berger added: “The judge’s decision to dismiss and close the three lawsuits is an important step in that direction. Kevin is looking forward to a time in the near future when he can tell his story free of innuendo and false claims.”
Last November, the 52-year-old puppeteer resigned from Sesame Workshop as accusers stepped forward to allege they had sex with Clash while underage. They included an anonymous John Doe who claimed that Clash paid to fly him from Miami to New York to be sexually abused in the mid-’90s; Cecil Singleton, who says he met Clash on a gay telephone chatline in 2003; and Kevin Kiadii, who says he had a relationship with Clash in 2004.
Clash’s attorneys acted to have the lawsuits dismissed as outside the statute of limitations, arguing that a lawsuit must be filed within six years of the event or three years after a plaintiff turns 21.
*Former Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash has had all charges of sexual molestation dropped by a judge in federal court because the accusers waited too long to file.
The lawsuits filed by Cecil Singleton, Kevin Kiadii and a third unnamed accuser were tossed after a judge said the statute of limitations had run out. As the judge detailed, the statute of limitations to sue someone for molestation expires three years after the accusers’ 18th birthday. Singleton was 23 when he filed his report in 2012.
Singleton and Kiadii accused Clash of indecent behavior when they were underaged. A third and later a fourth accusation came forward, however, the fourth eventually retracted his accusation.
Clash has denied all charges brought against him. He resigned from his long-serving post on “Sesame Street” in the wake of the allegations. No word on whether the accusers will make an appeal on the case.
*Another man has come forward to claim that he was under age when he had a sexual relationship with former Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash.
Robert Gearty, now 29, says he was 16 in 2000 when he and Clash engaged in “some sexual activity,” reports the New York Daily News.
The accuser’s lawyer, Jeff Herman, said that in initial conversations on a gay chat line, Clash told his client that he was 30, though when they met at the apartment of Clash, who called himself “Craig,” the accuser realized the now 52-year-old Clash appeared to be older. Per Herman, Gearty, who interacted with Clash again in 2003 and 2004, recognized Clash’s celebrity when he saw “Elmo dolls, an Emmy award and photographs of Elmo with movie stars.” Herman said his client started writing a book about the experience in 2009.
Herman is also representing Cecil Singleton, the second accuser to step forth, who claims that Clash frequented gay telephone chat rooms to meet underage men.
*In a press conference held Tuesday, the second man to reveal he had a “sexual relationship” with Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash when he was underage said the two did not have actual intercourse when he was 15 and 16, but did engage in “groping, masturbation, intense kissing and dry-humping” at that time.
With his lawyer by his side, Cecil Singleton, now in his 30s, went before reporters in New York to offer details about his sexual relationship with Clash, which began when he was 15 and Clash was 32. Singleton said that they engaged in the non-intercourse sexual activity for about two weeks after meeting on a gay phone chat line in 1993. Singleton says they eventually had sexual intercourse years later, when he was an adult.
As previously reported, Singleton has filed a lawsuit against Clash for $5 million, claiming he “did not become aware that he had suffered adverse psychological and emotional effects from Clash’s sexual acts and conduct until 2012.”
Singleton said yesterday he broke off the initial relationship because he felt that Singleton liked him too much — and that he didn’t think the puppeteer could handle the relationship.