Elmo Puppeteer Accused of Underage Relationship - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Elmo Puppeteer Accused of Underage Relationship

Posted:
This Jan. 24, 2011 photo shows "Sesame Street" muppet Elmo and puppeteer Kevin Clash poses for a portrait in the Fender Music Lodge during the 2011 Sundance Film Festival to promote the film "Being Elmo" in Park City, Utah. (Photo: AP) This Jan. 24, 2011 photo shows "Sesame Street" muppet Elmo and puppeteer Kevin Clash poses for a portrait in the Fender Music Lodge during the 2011 Sundance Film Festival to promote the film "Being Elmo" in Park City, Utah. (Photo: AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — The puppeteer who performs as Elmo on "Sesame Street" is taking a leave of absence from the popular kids' show in the wake of allegations that he had a relationship with a 16-year-old boy.

Sesame Workshop said puppeteer Kevin Clash denies the charges, which were first made in June by the alleged partner, who by then was 23.

"We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action," Sesame Workshop said in a statement issued Monday. "We met with the accuser twice and had repeated communications with him. We met with Kevin, who denied the accusation."

The organization described the relationship as personal and "unrelated to the workplace." Its investigation found the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated. But it said Clash exercised "poor judgment" and was disciplined for violating company policy regarding Internet usage. It offered no details.

"I had a relationship with (the accuser)," Clash told TMZ. "It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to make it into something it was not."

At his request, Clash has been granted a leave of absence in order to "protect his reputation," Sesame Workshop said.

No further explanation was provided, nor was the duration of his leave specified.

"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," Sesame Workshop said in its statement.

"Sesame Street" is currently in production, but other puppeteers are prepared to fill in for Clash during his absence, according to a person close to the show who spoke on condition of anonymity because that person was not authorized to publicly discuss details about the show's production.

"Elmo will still be a part of the shows being produced," that person said.

The 52-year-old Clash, the divorced father of a grown daughter, has been a puppeteer for "Sesame Street" since 1984. It was then that he was handed the fuzzy red puppet named Elmo and asked to come up with a voice for him. Clash transformed the character, which had been a marginal member of the Muppets troupe for a number of years, into a major star rivaling Big Bird as the face of "Sesame Street."

In 2006, Clash published an autobiography, "My Life as a Furry Red Monster," and was the subject of the 2011 documentary "Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey."

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Appeals Court Grants New Sentencing Hearings for DC Sniper

    Appeals Court Grants New Sentencing Hearings for DC Sniper

    Jun 21, 2018 10:28 AM2018-06-21 14:28:00 GMT
    Thursday, June 21 2018 10:28 AM EDT2018-06-21 14:28:49 GMT
     In this Oct. 26, 2004, file photo, Lee Boyd Malvo enters a courtroom in the Spotsylvania, Va., Circuit Court. A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2018, in a case focusing on the life sentences given to Malvo. (Photo: AP) In this Oct. 26, 2004, file photo, Lee Boyd Malvo enters a courtroom in the Spotsylvania, Va., Circuit Court. A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2018, in a case focusing on the life sentences given to Malvo. (Photo: AP)
    In this Oct. 26, 2004, file photo, Lee Boyd Malvo enters a courtroom in the Spotsylvania, Va., Circuit Court. A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2018, in a case focusing on the life sentences given to Malvo. (Photo: AP)In this Oct. 26, 2004, file photo, Lee Boyd Malvo enters a courtroom in the Spotsylvania, Va., Circuit Court. A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2018, in a case focusing on the life sentences given to Malvo. (Photo: AP)
    A federal appeals court says a sniper serving life in prison after terrorizing the Washington, D.C., region as a teenager must get new sentencing hearings.More
    A federal appeals court says a sniper serving life in prison after terrorizing the Washington, D.C., region as a teenager must get new sentencing hearings.    More
  • Salisbury Zoo Mourns Death of Bison

    Salisbury Zoo Mourns Death of Bison

    Jun 21, 2018 10:04 AM2018-06-21 14:04:00 GMT
    Thursday, June 21 2018 10:08 AM EDT2018-06-21 14:08:33 GMT
    The Salisbury Zoo announced on Thursday the passing of their 25-year-old Bison, BubbaThe Salisbury Zoo announced on Thursday the passing of their 25-year-old Bison, Bubba
    The Salisbury Zoo announced on Thursday the passing of their 25-year-old Bison, BubbaThe Salisbury Zoo announced on Thursday the passing of their 25-year-old Bison, Bubba
    The Salisbury Zoo announced the passing of its 25-year-old male American bison, which was euthanized this week.More
    The Salisbury Zoo announced the passing of its 25-year-old male American bison, which was euthanized this week. More
  • Del. Lawmakers Eye Local Residency Restrictions on Sex Offenders

    Del. Lawmakers Eye Local Residency Restrictions on Sex Offenders

    Jun 21, 2018 8:36 AM2018-06-21 12:36:00 GMT
    Thursday, June 21 2018 8:37 AM EDT2018-06-21 12:37:29 GMT
    The Delaware House is poised to vote on a bill preventing municipalities from establishing housing restrictions for sex offenders that are stricter than what state law requires.More
    The Delaware House is poised to vote on a bill preventing municipalities from establishing housing restrictions for sex offenders that are stricter than what state law requires.           More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Businesses, City of Cambridge Fight Over Flags

    Businesses, City of Cambridge Fight Over Flags

    Jun 20, 2018 8:38 PM2018-06-21 00:38:00 GMT
    Thursday, June 21 2018 7:49 AM EDT2018-06-21 11:49:01 GMT
    It's a fight over flags in Cambridge, Maryland. Business owners say they've been receiving letters from the city telling them to take down certain flags placed outside their businesses.More
    It's a fight over flags in Cambridge, Maryland. Business owners say they've been receiving letters from the city telling them to take down certain flags placed outside their businesses.More
  • Man Arrested After Easton Truck Fire

    Man Arrested After Easton Truck Fire

    Jun 20, 2018 12:36 PM2018-06-20 16:36:00 GMT
    Wednesday, June 20 2018 1:13 PM EDT2018-06-20 17:13:02 GMT
    2003 Chevrolet Pickup Truck (Photo State Fire Marshal)2003 Chevrolet Pickup Truck (Photo State Fire Marshal)
    2003 Chevrolet Pickup Truck (Photo State Fire Marshal)2003 Chevrolet Pickup Truck (Photo State Fire Marshal)
    A 21-year-old man is facing arson and related charges following accusations that he intentionally torched his own truck in Easton.More
    A 21-year-old man is facing arson and related charges following accusations that he intentionally torched his own truck in Easton. More
  • Delaware Court Upholds Conviction of Medical Marijuana Activist

    Delaware Court Upholds Conviction of Medical Marijuana Activist

    Jun 20, 2018 3:32 PM2018-06-20 19:32:00 GMT
    Wednesday, June 20 2018 3:32 PM EDT2018-06-20 19:32:57 GMT
    (Photo: MGN Online)(Photo: MGN Online)
    (Photo: MGN Online)(Photo: MGN Online)
    Delaware's Supreme Court has upheld the drug dealing and conspiracy convictions of a woman who illegally sold medical marijuana.More
    Delaware's Supreme Court has upheld the drug dealing and conspiracy convictions of a woman who illegally sold medical marijuana.           More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • 7 PM Weather June 20,2018

    7 PM Weather June 20,2018

  • Businesses, City of Cambridge Fight Over Flags

    Businesses, City of Cambridge Fight Over Flags

    It's a fight over flags in Cambridge. Business owners say they've been receiving letters from the City telling them to take down certain flags placed outside their business.

    Theodore's Subs and Small Plates owner, Doug Bramble, says his red fluttering flag helps attract customers. But not according to the City, which WBOC tried to contact on Wednesday but did not hear back.

    More

    It's a fight over flags in Cambridge. Business owners say they've been receiving letters from the City telling them to take down certain flags placed outside their business.

    Theodore's Subs and Small Plates owner, Doug Bramble, says his red fluttering flag helps attract customers. But not according to the City, which WBOC tried to contact on Wednesday but did not hear back.

    More
  • Unexpected Discovery Made in Ocean City Median Project

    Unexpected Discovery Made in Ocean City Median Project

    Cones and construction are scattered along Coastal Highway in Ocean City. Initially postponed, the median project will put a divider up in the middle of the two lanes of traffic from 44th to 62nd St.

    State Highway Administration confirms the median project is on schedule and is expected to be completed by Memorial Day, but some folks in town have their doubts about that completion time.

    More

    Cones and construction are scattered along Coastal Highway in Ocean City. Initially postponed, the median project will put a divider up in the middle of the two lanes of traffic from 44th to 62nd St.

    State Highway Administration confirms the median project is on schedule and is expected to be completed by Memorial Day, but some folks in town have their doubts about that completion time.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices