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>>

  • Dine and Dash Suspects Arrested

    Dine and Dash Suspects Arrested

    Friday, June 23 2017 11:54 PM EDT2017-06-24 03:54:56 GMT
    Friday, June 23 2017 11:56 PM EDT2017-06-24 03:56:32 GMT
    Two people were arrested for leaving before paying at two Georgetown restaurants.Two people were arrested for leaving before paying at two Georgetown restaurants.

    A Dover man and a Smyrna woman were arrested after they dined and dashed at two Georgetown restaurants two days in a row, according to the Georgetown Police Department.

    More

    A Dover man and a Smyrna woman were arrested after they dined and dashed at two Georgetown restaurants two days in a row, according to the Georgetown Police Department.

    More
  • Car Crash Kills Milford Man

    Car Crash Kills Milford Man

    Friday, June 23 2017 9:45 PM EDT2017-06-24 01:45:41 GMT
    Friday, June 23 2017 11:44 PM EDT2017-06-24 03:44:30 GMT
    (Photo Credit: MGN)(Photo Credit: MGN)

    A fatal motor vehicle accident claimed the life of a Milford man on Tuesday after he was listed in critical condition earlier this week, according to Delaware State Police. 

    More

    A fatal motor vehicle accident claimed the life of a Milford man on Tuesday after he was listed in critical condition earlier this week, according to Delaware State Police. 

    More
  • The City of Salisbury Celebrates the Life of Brooke Mulford

    The City of Salisbury Celebrates the Life of Brooke Mulford

    Friday, June 23 2017 10:16 PM EDT2017-06-24 02:16:31 GMT
    Friday, June 23 2017 10:16 PM EDT2017-06-24 02:16:31 GMT

    The City of Salisbury celebrated the life of 12-year-old Brooke Mulford Friday night. 

    More

    The City of Salisbury celebrated the life of 12-year-old Brooke Mulford Friday night. 

    More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Dine and Dash Suspects Arrested

    Dine and Dash Suspects Arrested

    Friday, June 23 2017 11:54 PM EDT2017-06-24 03:54:56 GMT
    Friday, June 23 2017 11:56 PM EDT2017-06-24 03:56:32 GMT
    Two people were arrested for leaving before paying at two Georgetown restaurants.Two people were arrested for leaving before paying at two Georgetown restaurants.

    A Dover man and a Smyrna woman were arrested after they dined and dashed at two Georgetown restaurants two days in a row, according to the Georgetown Police Department.

    More

    A Dover man and a Smyrna woman were arrested after they dined and dashed at two Georgetown restaurants two days in a row, according to the Georgetown Police Department.

    More
  • Car Crash Kills Milford Man

    Car Crash Kills Milford Man

    Friday, June 23 2017 9:45 PM EDT2017-06-24 01:45:41 GMT
    Friday, June 23 2017 11:44 PM EDT2017-06-24 03:44:30 GMT
    (Photo Credit: MGN)(Photo Credit: MGN)

    A fatal motor vehicle accident claimed the life of a Milford man on Tuesday after he was listed in critical condition earlier this week, according to Delaware State Police. 

    More

    A fatal motor vehicle accident claimed the life of a Milford man on Tuesday after he was listed in critical condition earlier this week, according to Delaware State Police. 

    More
  • Saturday Events Will Cause Traffic Delays on DE 1

    Saturday Events Will Cause Traffic Delays on DE 1

    Friday, June 23 2017 11:45 AM EDT2017-06-23 15:45:10 GMT
    Friday, June 23 2017 11:45 AM EDT2017-06-23 15:45:10 GMT

    Two funeral processions are expected to cause traffic delays Saturday on Route 1 in the area of Little Heaven and outside of Milford. 

    More

    Two funeral processions are expected to cause traffic delays Saturday on Route 1 in the area of Little Heaven and outside of Milford. 

    More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • City of Salisbury Celebrates the Life of Brooke Mulford

    City of Salisbury Celebrates the Life of Brooke Mulford

    The City of Salisbury celebrated the life of 12-year-old Brooke Mulford Friday night.

    Hundreds of balloons were released into the sky from James Bennett High School Friday night in honor of Brooke Mulford.

    Brooke battled neuroblastoma for nearly 8 years and passed away on June 12th.

    More

    The City of Salisbury celebrated the life of 12-year-old Brooke Mulford Friday night.

    Hundreds of balloons were released into the sky from James Bennett High School Friday night in honor of Brooke Mulford.

    Brooke battled neuroblastoma for nearly 8 years and passed away on June 12th.

    More
  • Banner Plane Makes Emergency Landing in Showell

    A banner plane had to make an emergency landing in Showell Friday afternoon after reportedly running out of fuel.

    Maryland State Police say no injuries were reported when 23-year-old Austin Kiehl of Montana landed the single engine Piper off Peerless Road near Route 113.

    More

    A banner plane had to make an emergency landing in Showell Friday afternoon after reportedly running out of fuel.

    Maryland State Police say no injuries were reported when 23-year-old Austin Kiehl of Montana landed the single engine Piper off Peerless Road near Route 113.

    More
  • New App Launched to Track Assateague Ponies

    New App Launched to Track Assateague Ponies

    The Assateague Island Alliance has newly launched their free app to track wild ponies in both the State and National Seashore Park. With a simple photo taken from a smart phone, users can identify the animals.

    There are no tags or brands put on the horses. The only way that their location is marked is through the phone's GPS. You can add characteristics of the pony so that others can easily identify them.

    More

    The Assateague Island Alliance has newly launched their free app to track wild ponies in both the State and National Seashore Park. With a simple photo taken from a smart phone, users can identify the animals.

    There are no tags or brands put on the horses. The only way that their location is marked is through the phone's GPS. You can add characteristics of the pony so that others can easily identify them.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices