“Elmo” creator Kevin Clash has taken a leave of absence from his role on Sesame Street to deal with allegations stemming from an underage sex scandal.
Kevin (who was 45 at the time) was accused of being sexually involved with a 16-year-old boy (who’s now 23) after the accuser revealed their relationship to lawyers at Sesame Workshop.
In response to the revelation, Sesame Workshop told TMZ …
“In June of this year, Sesame Workshop received a communication from a young man who alleged that he had a relationship with Kevin Clash beginning when he was 16-years-old. This was a personal relationship, unrelated to the workplace. We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action.”
Officials from the company say an investigation was conducted and they found that the allegations of underage sex was unsubstantiated. But clearly this issue isn’t over.
Kevin told TMZ that “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.”
So what does that mean for Elmo?
Sesame Workshop said, .
“Kevin insists that these allegations are false and defamatory and he has taken actions to protect his reputation. We have granted him a leave of absence to do so.” And they added, “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.”