Today’s edition of Sesame Street is brought to you by the letters: D-R-A-M-A!
Kevin Clash — who has spent the past two decades lending his voice to one of Sesame Street’s most endearing characters — has been accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a teenage boy. A 23-year-old man says the Elmo puppeteer seduced him into a sexual liaison seven years ago, when he was just 16.
The accuser reportedly met with lawyers at Sesame Workshop — the non-profit organization behind the classic program — and disclosed that he and Kevin began a sexual relationship when he was underage. Clash, 52, denies the allegations.
The voice actor admits he had a relationship with the accuser, but he insists the romance began after the man turned 18. Nonetheless, Clash has decided to take a leave of absence from the hit PBS show until the matter is resolved.
“I had a relationship with [the accuser]. It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to make it into something it was not.”
Sesame Workshop execs say they conducted a thorough investigation, but evidence of an inappropriate sexual relationship was “unsubstantiated.” Sesame Street bosses have, however, chided Clash for inappropriate use of his company e-mail account.
In a statement Monday, the company said:
“We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action. We met with the accuser twice and had repeated communications with him. 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 Internet usage and he was disciplined…”
The accuser has lawyered up with Andreozzi and Associates — the same firm that represented one of the victims in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case.
Anyone else smell a lawsuit?