Nov 12 2012, 10:18pm CST | by Mark Raby
The voice of Elmo, Kevin Clash, has broken his silence after he was placed on a leave of absence from Sesame Street because of underage sex allegations. Clash told TMZ that he did in fact have a relationship with a younger guy, but that the relationship was mutual.
The accuser, who has not been named, is now 23-years-old. However, he claims that Clash began having having sexual relations with him when he was just 16. Nobody has managed to corroborate these claims.
Nevertheless, Sesame Workshop, the production company that runs Sesame Street, did an investigation and found some causes for concern.
The company wrote, "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."
Clash's response was, "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."
Obviously this case is quite different than it would be for pretty much any other actor, because of the family-friendly and wholesome qualities that Elmo exudes.
Nevertheless, Clash has not been fired. He is only on a leave of absence while Sesame Workshop works on "taking actions to protect his reputation."
Elmo will not be taking a vacation from the show, though. "Elmo is bigger than any one person and will continue to be an integral part of Sesame Street to engage, educate and inspire children around the world, as it has for 40 years," the company said.
Via TV Guide
With more than 10 years as a professional writer, Mark Raby has an undeniable pulse on the latest trends. From the quiet rumors to the breaking news of the day, his eagle eye is always focused on the newest scoop and figuring out how and why the big newsmakers are noteworthy and relevant. He is based in New York City.
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