Kevin Clash, the man behind “Sesame Street’s” Elmo since the early 80’s, has officially resigned from the show, as a second man accuses him of having had sexual relations with him while he was still a minor.

Kevin Clash arrives with puppet Elmo. (LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS)

“None of us [at Sesame Workshop], especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization,” Sesame Workshop said Tuesday in a statement accepting Clash’s resignation from the show that became a lightning rod during the presidential election.

“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 new accuser is suing Clash in federal court, claiming he was 15 at the time of his relationship with Clash; the unnamed accuser seeks more than $5 million in damages, according to Web site TMZ which obtained the court documents.

Clash had been on leave from the lauded PBS children’s show since news got out about the first man stepping forward and claiming the Baltimore-area native had a sexual relation with him while he was still a minor.


VIDEO | Kevin Clash resigns from “Sesame Street”