The man who claimed he had a sexual relationship with longtime “Sesame Street” puppeteer Kevin Clash while underage has recanted one day after the story broke in the media.
“I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest. I will not discuss it further,” Clash, the puppeteer and voice of of “Sesame Street’s” Elmo for nearly three decades, said in a statement.
Earlier, the law firm that purports to represent the accuser said in a statement that the man withdrew his claim and acknowledged that “his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship.”
On Monday, Sesame Workshop said that it had met with the accuser after it first received a communication from the then-23-year-old man in June. Sesame Workshop said that it also met with Clash and that after a “thorough investigation . . . found the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated.”
The production company also said that it had put Clash on leave while he acted “to protect his reputation.”
The law firm representing the accuser had claimed that Sesame Workshop placed “greater value on a puppet than the well-being of a young man,” according to TMZ, which first reported the story Monday.
“We are pleased that this matter has been brought to a close, and we are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode,” the Sesame Workshop said Tuesday.