Kevin Clash, the Voice of Elmo, Resigns from Sesame Street Amid Second Lawsuit

Sex abuse allegations became a "distraction," statement says.

Posted: 11/20/2012 11:29 AM EST
Kevin Clash

Kevin Clash has resigned from Sesame Street, a statement from a spokesperson for the long-running show confirms. According to TMZ, the actor and puppeteer, who for years has been the voice of Elmo, is caught up in a second lawsuit involving allegations of sex abuse, this time by Cecil Singleton, a man who claims Clash engaged in a gay phone chat with him in 1993, when he was fifteen and Clash was 32. 

Clash, now 52, recently settled a lawsuit brought on nearly two weeks ago by Sheldon Stephens, a supposed model who claims he had sex with Clash when he was a minor. Clash maintained his innocence against the allegations and demanded a full retraction from Stephens in exchange for a six-figure settlement. Stephens has since decided to seek counsel in an effort to take back his retraction, claiming he was pressured into accepting the payout. 

A statement from Sesame Workshop, the company that produces Sesame Street, says, "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."

There has been no official word on Clash's replacement.


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(Photo: Michael Tran/Getty Images)

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