A 24-year-old college student has accused longtime Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash of sexually abusing him when he was 15.
A lawsuit filed Tuesday in New York by Cecil Singleton accuses Clash of engaging in sexual behavior with him over a two-week period while he was under-age. Singleton said they met on a gay chat line.
At a news conference, Singleton said he had no idea at the time what Clash did for a living.
Earlier Tuesday, Clash resigned from "Sesame Street" after 28 years, after denying an allegation that he had sex with another underage boy. He cited personal matters but did not address the new allegations.
Singleton's lawyer, Jeff Herman, said he had been contacted by two other potential victims and expected additional legal action.
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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, according to attorney Cecil Singleton.
Sesame Workshop called the controversy surrounding Clash's personal life "a distraction that none of us want" and led to his decision to leave the show.
Clash created the voice and persona for Elmo, who has become one of "Sesame Street's" most popular characters.
NEW YORK (AP) -- A man who accused Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash of having sex with him when he was a teenage boy has recanted his story.
In a quick turnabout, the man on Tuesday described his sexual relationship with Clash as adult and consensual.
Clash responded with a statement of his own, saying he is "relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest." He had no further comment.
The man, who has not identified himself, released his statement through the Harrisburg, Pa., law firm Andreozzi & Associates.
Sesame Workshop, which produces "Sesame Street" in New York, soon followed by saying, "We are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode."
The whirlwind episode began Monday morning, when Sesame Workshop startled the world by announcing that Clash had taken a leave of absence from "Sesame Street" in the wake of allegations that he had had a relationship with a 16-year-old.
Clash, a 52-year-old divorced father of a grown daughter, swiftly denied the charges of his accuser, who is in his early 20s. In that statement Clash acknowledged that he is gay but said the relationship had been between two consenting adults.
Though it remained unclear where the relationship took place, sex with a person under 17 is a felony in New York if the perpetrator is at least 21.
Sesame Workshop, which said it was first contacted by the accuser in June, 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.
Clash said on Monday he would take a break from Sesame Workshop "to deal with this false and defamatory allegation."
Neither Clash nor Sesame Workshop indicated on Tuesday when he might return to the show, on which he has performed as Elmo since 1984.
Elmo had previously been a marginal character, but Clash, supplying the fuzzy red puppet with a high-pitched voice and a carefree, child-like personality, launched the character into major stardom. Elmo soon rivaled Big Bird as the face of "Sesame Street."
Though usually behind the scenes, Clash meanwhile achieved his own measure of fame. In 2006, he published an autobiography, "My Life as a Furry Red Monster," and he was the subject of the 2011 documentary "Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey."
He has won 23 daytime Emmy awards and one prime-time Emmy.
The puppeteer behind Elmo on ‘Sesame Street’ is responding to allegations that he had an inappropriate relationship with a teenager.
For 27 years, Kevin Clash has been the voice behind Elmo, one of the most well known children's characters ever. Clash is on leave from "Sesame Street" after, a now 23-year-old man, claimed he had a sexual relationship with clash that started when he was just 16 years old. Clash was 45 years old at the time.
Clash's bosses at the Sesame Workshop said they've met with the accuser and conducted a thorough investigation and found the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated.
In a statement, Clash admitted having a relationship with the young man, but not when the accuser was a teenager.
Sesame Workshop said although this was a personal relationship unrelated to the workplace, our investigation did reveal that Clash exercised poor judgment and violated company policy regarding internet usage.
The producers of "Sesame Street" say the puppeteer has been given a leave of absence so he can "protect his reputation."