NEW YORK — After settling last week with a 23-year-old man who accused the voice of Sesame Street’s Elmo of an underage sexual relationship, Kevin Clash has resigned from his long-time role after a second accuser made similar allegations dating back to 2003.
According to New York blog, Gothamist, the second accuser — now 24 — says he met the children’s television performer on a gay telephone chat line last decade and commenced a sexual relationship when the accuser was just 15. Clash’s first accuser is also seeking new lawyers in hopes of reversing his original $125,000 settlement with Clash.
The creators of Sesame Street released a statement saying, “the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us want,” and that Clash “can no longer be effective in his job.”
Clash’s supporters had assumed last week he had cleared his name after a 23-year-old man recanted allegations that Clash — a gay Maryland native — and he had a sexual relationship starting when he was 16.
“He wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship,” according to a statement issued by the unidentified man’s representative, Andreozzi & Associates, according to ABC News. “He will have no further comment on the matter.”
Last Monday, Clash — who is now 52 — announced a leave of absence from the show and released a statement acknowledging that he is gay and that he’d had a relationship with the accuser, but only after he’d reached the age of consent.
“I am a gay man,” Clash’s statement read. “I had a relationship with the accuser. It was between two consenting adults, and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to characterize it as something other than what it was.”