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Voice of Elmo

Denies Sex w/ Underage Boy

Takes Leave of Absence from Sesame Street

11/12/2012 10:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Elmo Voice Actor Kevin ClashKevin Clash -- the man known as the voice of Elmo -- has taken a leave of absence from Sesame Street in the wake of allegations he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy, TMZ has learned ... allegations Clash adamantly denies.

We've learned ... Sesame Workshop lawyers recently met with a 23-year-old man who claims he and Clash began a sexual relationship 7 years ago ... when he was 16 and Clash was 45.

Clash has acknowledged to TMZ he had a relationship with the young man -- but insists it only took place AFTER the accuser was an adult.

Sesame Workshop honchos tell 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."

Sesame Workshop officials acknowledge to TMZ they met with the accuser twice and had a number of other communications with him.

Sources with direct knowledge of the situation tell TMZ ... after the accuser's initial meeting with Sesame Street, the accuser felt Sesame Workshop's lawyers were trying to muzzle him ... so he lawyered up with Andreozzi and Associates -- the firm that represented one of the victims in the Jerry Sandusky child rape case.

On August 15, 2012 ... Andreozzi fired off a letter to Sesame, accusing the company of trying to "discredit the victim in order to protect its employee and the image of one of its most valuable characters," adding, "This approach places a greater value on a puppet than the well being of a young man."

Sesame Workshop officials tell TMZ ... they conducted a thorough investigation and determined the allegation of underage sex was unsubstantiated. They say they never tried to silence the accuser -- rather they asked for evidence supporting his claim, but he never produced it.

Officials also tell us they're suspicious because the accuser has an email which TMZ obtained -- purportedly sent to him by Clash, acknowledging they had the affair when he was 16. The officials say the accuser never mentioned such an email existed and they believe it's fraudulent.

But there were other emails between Clash and the accuser, and although they don't suggest there was underage sex, officials tell us they disciplined him for inappropriate use of company email.

Sesame Workshop honchos tell TMZ ... "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."

It is unclear why Clash wanted a leave of absence, since he denies the allegations of underage sex.

As for Clash, the voice actor tells TMZ, "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."  Clash calls the accusations false and defamatory.

Finally Sesame Workshop officials tell TMZ the puppet is alive and well: "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."

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330 COMMENTS

No Avatar
181.

Mary Ann Moseley    

If he's guilty, arrest him and put him in jail where he belongs. He doesn't deserve to be free and turned loose on society to do his dirty deeds all over again.

626 days ago
182.

Sean    

Legal or not, either way Elmo is a pole smoker.

626 days ago
183.

DSherline    

Oh No, Elmo! Say it ain't so!

626 days ago
184.

spectator72    

Not true he said he had sex with the stuffed animal .It all started with Alf

626 days ago
185.

alantatanka    

The only problem here is the possibity of the boy being a minor at the time of the sex act. The act itself, is ok. As demostrated through the passing of numerous laws and the fact that homosexuality is now taught in our public schools. It is a known trait that most persons engaging in this lifestyle position themselves in an environment that facilitates the lifestyle. Look around.....

626 days ago
186.

Big Mamma Cornbread    

WEIRDO

626 days ago
187.

Crabby    

And so the very first place a rational person with honesty and ethics would go to report an alleged same sex molestation@age 16 would be to the attorney's of the accused:) OR did I not comprehend what I read accurately? Don't most people report incidents such as that to the police WHEN they occur? The so called "victim" must be a spurned lover looking for a pay day.Good luck with that loser. I just want to also say that I am in no way defending any questionable sexual behaviors that people participate in BUT when I was 16 and when my siblings were 16 we all knew what was up about sex. We all knew how to avoid trouble and how to say no if someone was trying to sexually harass us. Maybe this guy was very sheltered and immature when he was 16 BUT to wait 5 years and use those particular attorneys is VERY telling.

626 days ago
188.

black or white    

go ahead. run away. take a leave. i will be waiting for your confessional video where you will explain what happened, and how this is all a misunderstanding. i have seen every pedo freak do it before you. your video will be similar.

626 days ago
189.

MARY    

Please say it isn't so!! There couldn't be any more devastating news!!! Tell me the oceans have dried up, tell me a meteor the size of the sun is heading for earth, tell me all the chocolate in the world has been destroyed, but PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DON'T TELL ME ELMOS IS A CHILD MOLESTER!!

626 days ago
190.

black or white    

my GOD. every pedo seems to deal with children. michael jackson loved them. sandusky adored them, this clash guy entertained them. im sick to my stomach

626 days ago
191.

dennis    

For Sale: Lots of Elmo dolls....CHEAP!

626 days ago
192.

MARY    

Say it isn't so!!! Tell me the oceans have all dried up, tell me a meteor the size of the sun is heading straight for earth, tell me all the chocolate in the world has been destroyed, but PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DON'T TELL ME ELMO IS A CHILD MOLESTER!!

626 days ago
193.

hotandcold    

I have NEVER liked Elmo. Before Elmo came along PBS used actors voices that spoke to children without using 'babytalk'. I can't stand any child 'voice' actor who uses infantile language. Speak to a child normally. Please!

626 days ago
194.

nonya    

America is filled with racial hate right now. I wouldn't be surprised if these stories were fabricated to make blacks look bad.

626 days ago
195.

c gordon    

Wait! You folks are all assuming Kevin Clash is guilty, and he has "adamantly denied" that he had any sexual relationship with this guy until after he became of age. Clash has hired a lawyer to clear his name. I say, "Innocent until proven guilty." That's the American way. Give him his day in court.

626 days ago
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