The Elmo puppeteer's legal troubles are far from over.
Despite a settlement and retraction from the first man who accused him of engaging in sex with a minor, Kevin Clash's legal troubles are far from over. The voice actor and puppeteer, best known as the voice of Sesame Street character Elmo, has been hit by more accusations of sexual abuse and a second lawsuit.
After Sheldon Stephens and Cecil Singleton came forward with claims that Clash had sex with them when the men, now adults, were minors, a third man has stepped forward to say he also had sexual relations with Clash when he was sixteen. The third accuser, who chooses to remain unnamed, tells the New York Daily News via his attorney Jeff Herman that he met Clash in a gay chatroom. Herman says he plans to file suit on behalf of his client in Manhattan Federal Court. TMZ is reporting the accuser claims Clash gave him alcohol and "groomed him."
Clash's first accuser, Stephens, settled his lawsuit with Clash for a reported six figures and agreed to issue a public retraction of his claims before having a change of heart. He is now seeking an attorney who will help undo the settlement. The second accuser, Singleton, also filed suit last week.
Clash resigned from Sesame Street last week. Bosses at the long-running children's show said in a statement that Clash's "personal life has become a distraction." Sesame Workshop, the company that produces the hit show, has come under fire for not addressing the allegations, which first surfaced in June.
“When working around children, my feeling would be to always exercise on the side of caution and protect the children first and foremost,” a source close to the scandal told Fox News, adding that letting Clash keep working during the network’s internal investigation was “below the standard.”
Sesame Workshop responded by insisting they "took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action."
"We met with the accuser twice and had repeated communication with him,” Sesame Workshop said in the statement. “We met with Kevin, who denied the accusation. We also conducted a thorough investigation and found the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated. Although this was a personal relationship unrelated to the workplace, our investigation did reveal that Kevin exercised poor judgment and violated company policy regarding our Internet usage and he was disciplined.”
Clash has maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal.
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(Photo: Josiah True/ WENN.com)