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Elmo originator is gone

Posted by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM
  • 94 Replies

Elmo actor Kevin Clash resigns amid sex allegation

Nov. 20 12:32 PM EST

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Elmo, Kevin Flash

 

FILE - In this Jan. 24, 2011 file photo, Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash poses with the "Sesame Street" muppet in the Fender Music Lodge during the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Sesame Workshop says Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash has resigned from "Sesame Street" in the wake of allegations that he had sex with an under-aged youth. Last week a man accused Clash of having sex with him when he was a teenage boy, a charge Clash denied. A day later, the man recanted his charge. A lawsuit by a second accuser was filed Tuesday, Nov. 20, according to attorney Cecil Singleton. (AP Photo/Victoria Will, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash has resigned from "Sesame Street" in the wake of an allegation that he had sex with an underage youth.

In its statement Tuesday, Sesame Workshop said "the controversy surrounding Kevin's personal life has become a distraction that none of us want," leading Clash to conclude "that he can no longer be effective in his job."

"This is a sad day for Sesame Street," the company said.

In a statement of his own, Clash said "personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work Sesame Street is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer. I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately."

As the announcement was made, a lawsuit was being filed in federal court in New York charging Clash with sexual abuse of a second youth. The lawsuit alleges that Cecil Singleton, then 15 and now an adult, was persuaded by Clash to meet for sexual encounters.

The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $5 million.

Clash, who had been on "Sesame Street" for 28 years, created the high-pitched voice and child-like persona for Elmo, a furry, red Muppet that became one of the most popular characters on the show and one of the company's most lucrative properties. Sesame Workshop produces "Sesame Street" in New York.

Clash's exit followed a tumultuous week that began on Nov. 12 with a statement from the company that Clash had requested a leave of absence following the charge by a man in his early 20s that he had had a relationship with Clash when he was 16.

Clash denied the charge from that man, who has not been publicly identified, calling it "false and defamatory."

Clash, the 52-year-old divorced father of a grown daughter, acknowledged that he is gay in that statement.

Sesame Workshop, which said it was first contacted by the accuser in June, said it had launched an investigation that included meeting with the accuser twice and meeting with Clash. Its investigation found the charge of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated.

The next day Clash's accuser recanted his charge, describing his sexual relationship with Clash as adult and consensual. Clash responded that he was "relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest."

In addition to his marquee role as Elmo, Clash had served as the show's senior Muppet coordinator and Muppet captain. He won 23 daytime Emmy awards and one prime-time Emmy.

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

Though it remained unclear who might take over for Clash performing as Elmo, other "Sesame Street" puppeteers have been trained to serve as his stand-in, Sesame Workshop said.

"Elmo is bigger than any one person," the company said last week.

by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM
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Replies (1-10):
hismommy2010
by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM
2 moms liked this

 I read that. Breaks my heart. It's obvious that these claims are from people who just want to make a buck!

I hope Kevin can stay strong and keep his head up. I have no hard feelings towards him. My son loves sesame street and elmo, and I hate to see Kevin leave from this.

AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Nov. 20, 2012 at 12:47 PM
1 mom liked this
I knew it. I really did. Ask anyone, I always hatred that Muppet and would turn him whenever he came on. People would ask why and I would tell them "Elmo is a child molester". Then people would talk smack or edge away like i was the crazy one.

Good, vindication is great.
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Gweneveer
by Member on Nov. 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM

So sad :(

I love Elmo.  So do my kids.  

Kitschy
by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM
I'm not surprised. I think the guys a creeper.
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Kitschy
by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Elmo isn't going anywhere. He didn't always do his voice anymore anyway. Elmo is all over the world and has several performers at this point.

Quoting Gweneveer:

So sad :(

I love Elmo.  So do my kids.  

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lga1965
by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM

 That is sad. It is hateful that he has been accused and his personal life broadcast in the news and all over the Internet.

My grandkids have aways loved Elmo. I watch Sesame Street with my 2 year old graddaughter when I am there ,babysitting, while her Mom works a few days a week and we dance and sing along and she loves to watch Elmo DVD's in the car....what a great thing for kids who get fussy while on long car rides.

Its sad.

Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 12:57 PM

I certainly hope it holds not truth. It's unfortunate that if the allegations are false that it has ended this man's career.

survivorinohio
by René on Nov. 20, 2012 at 1:09 PM


Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:

I certainly hope it holds not truth. It's unfortunate that if the allegations are false that it has ended this man's career.


How far you go in life depends on your being: tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of both the weak and strong.  Because someday in life you would have been one or all of these.  GeorgeWashingtonCarver


smalltowngal
by Platinum Member on Nov. 20, 2012 at 1:35 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting AdrianneHill:

I knew it. I really did. Ask anyone, I always hatred that Muppet and would turn him whenever he came on. People would ask why and I would tell them "Elmo is a child molester". Then people would talk smack or edge away like i was the crazy one.

Good, vindication is great.

His first accuser has come out and said he made it up and he was an adult when he had a relationship with Clash. 

smalltowngal
by Platinum Member on Nov. 20, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Kevin Clash accuser retracts statement he had underage gay sex with Elmo voice

The man who accused Sesame Street's "voice of Elmo," Kevin Clash, of having a sexual encounter with him when he was 16 has retracted his statements about the PBS puppeteer.

In a statement sent to FOX 411 from the unnamed accuser’s attorneys, the 23-year-old took back his allegation.

“He wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship,” the statement read. “He will have no further comment on the matter.”

Clash, who has taken a leave of absence to deal with the accusation, is happy to be done with the investigation.

"I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest,” Clash said in a statement sent to FOX 411. “I will not discuss it further."

Still, the shadow of the scandal was an anomaly for the squeaky clean show and its normally behind-the-scenes "Sesame Street" personality. While the legalities involved with Clash's relationship appear to have been settled, having a sex scandal linked to one of the most beloved kids' characters of all time has left some with a bad taste in their mouth.




Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/11/13/kevin-clash-accuser-retracts-statement-that-had-gay-sex-with-elmo-voice/#ixzz2Cn0iWE4t
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