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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
196.

ted    

Elmo the pedo.

524 days ago
197.

Rob    

Sounds like big bird was wrong target...should have been Elmo

524 days ago
198.

Marcheal    

Why can't people date someone their age or close.

524 days ago
199.

Nelson    

Sesame Street was brought to you today by the letter M (molestation) and the number 16.

524 days ago
200.

rsmik    

just a gigolo, everywhere he goes, with elmo's part he's playing

524 days ago
201.

Nocell    

It seems that theres not ANY place anymore thats deemed "safe for children".......Guess it's going to be called "Sexame Street" from now on........

524 days ago
202.

Smarg    

Hey, it's all OK, Obama got re-elected, he loves homosexuals...get off his back.

524 days ago
203.

Nocell    

Suuuuny daaay, everyones tuuurning gay.....on my way to where the air is "steamed", can you tell me how to get, how to get to sexame street....Come and play, anything and everything's A-OK, REAL friendly neighbors there that's where we meet, Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sexame...I could go on...but whats the point.......

524 days ago
204.

Blue Lake    

Sesame Street, Pee-wee's Playhouse, same diff.

524 days ago
205.

NickSunset    

Oh that boy is gulty, now did the kid go after elmo the puppet?

524 days ago
206.

r    

i guess this x-mas fresh on the shelves
will be
ut oh its
rape me elmo

524 days ago
207.

Dan Lacey    

The very first Sesame Workshop statement flat out states that fake person Elmo is more important that real human Kevin, who they owe Elmo to and who may very well be innocent. Big lesson in the morality of greed. Almost makes you wish Romney had won. Almost.

524 days ago
208.

Mauricio Zuniga    

Not surprising. Jim Henson Co. supports perversion. Think of the children....

524 days ago
209.

Mauricio Zuniga    

Not surprising. Jim Henson Co. supports perversion. Think of the children....

524 days ago
210.

Tobias    

Tickle Me Elmo takes on a whole new meaning

524 days ago
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