'Sesame Street' puppeteer Kevin Clash has resigned from the show.(Photo: Kevin Wolf, AP)
Kevin Clash has resigned as Elmo's puppeteer, little more than a week following news of a sex scandal involving the longtime Sesame Street staple.
52, had been accused by a Pennsylvania man of having a sexual
relationship when the man was 16. Later last week, he recanted, claiming
he was an adult at the time, and Sesame made plans for Clash to return to work.
today, TMZ.com claimed a second man has accused Clash of initiating a
relationship 20 years ago, when the man was 15, and has now sued him for
$5 million, claiming he had only recently become aware of "adverse
psychological and emotional effects."
The coverage was too much for Sesame, which did not address the latest allegations in its statement.
Workshop's mission is to harness the educational power of media to help
all children the world over reach their highest potential," the company
said. "Kevin Clash has helped us achieve that mission for 28 years, and
none of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention
from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization.
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."
the events threaten to tarnish the image of the children's media
company -- and disrupt toy sales, analysts say -- production of the
preschool series has continued, and Elmo will be played by understudies
trained by Clash.