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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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328 COMMENTS

No Avatar
61.

Mark    

Even a 45 year old with an 18yr old is sketchy.

676 days ago
62.

mdrncars    

Stop being so prude. 16 is fully grown up. Gay boys aged 14-15 already have sex. So the guy he chose was almost 40. so?

676 days ago
63.

Anonymous    

What's the problem?
He is only 16 years old, old enough to make his own decisions.

676 days ago
64.

smileandshine    

Stop picking on Kevin Clash. He has done many kids wish foundations, and has a heart. I think the other guy is looking for big $$$$ Why now?

676 days ago
65.

Troi    

What's really sad here, is no matter how many different ways he is cleared of the charges,....he has been officially smeared,......and charges like that, they never go away.

676 days ago
66.

Eric240    

New for Christmas "Tickle Me Homo"

676 days ago
67.

jed    

Nothing like Elmo sucking on a straw

676 days ago
68.

Eric240    

New for Christmas: "Tickle-Me-Homo"

676 days ago
69.

Dick    

Well he can now become a Catholic priest or a football coach.

676 days ago
70.

StarryStarryNight    

he looks like he's hung like elmo.

676 days ago
71.

paul a.    

Im having fun today, my wife was always making fun of me when I claimed Elmo was gay.

Vindictation!!!! And a pedo to boot!

Bonus!

676 days ago
72.

mynastyma    

I hope he washes his hands well between acts.

676 days ago
73.

c    

If they’re still seeing each other then what the hell does this kid want? Money? Obviously it wasn’t too traumatic for him since he’s still seeing the guy. And this isn’t even close to the Sandusky case even though that’s what this guy wants people to think so he can get more sympathy, but a 16 year old having sex is a LOT different from an 11 year old. It’s nothing but a money-grab.

676 days ago
74.

Ummmm    

:(

676 days ago
75.

Zorbitor    

I Guess now its Tickle Me.. But Not Me Elmo

676 days ago
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