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Kevin Clash (Voice of Elmo)

Pays Accuser 6 Figures ...

Demanded Public Retraction of Underage Sex Claim

11/17/2012 11:35 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

1116-elmo-kevin-clash-sheldon-stephensKevin Clash -- the voice of Elmo -- agreed to pay his accuser $125,000, with one string attached -- that the accuser recant his story that Clash had sex with him when he was a minor ... TMZ has learned.

TMZ broke the story ... Sheldon Stephens alleged he was only 16 when Clash began a sexual affair with him. Clash has acknowledged an affair, but insists it started when Stephens -- now 23 -- was an adult.

Multiple sources tell TMZ ... hours before Stephens recanted his underage sex allegation, a settlement was struck between the two parties. Under the terms of the settlement, Clash agreed to pay Stephens 125k. But the settlement then provides the following:

"Stephens agrees that immediately upon execution of this Agreement, his counsel, Andreozzi & Associates, P.C., shall release the [following] statement ... 'He [Stephens] wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship.'"

The settlement document goes on to say if Stephens is asked by anyone about his relationship with Clash, he must only repeat the statement [above] in the settlement that recants his story.

We've learned although Stephens signed the document, he continues to insist Clash had sex with him when he was a minor and was pressured into signing the settlement.

One source privy to the negotiations tells TMZ ... Stephens was crying during final negotiations and repeatedly insisted he didn't want to sign.

We contacted Clash's lawyer, but he had no comment.


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This type of crime happens every day. Sure it was probably consensual sex between two sexually mature people, but, our laws state it was illegal. Lucky for the 40 Joseph that these laws were not in effect when he knocked up the 13 year old Mary.

667 days ago


they are both creeps

667 days ago


Well, _if_ he gets to keep the money, it'll likely be the last payday Sheldon Stephens ever gets. Kevin Clash will be okay - he'll still get royalties for the use of his voice so long as Elmo opens his mouth, and has probably made enough to stay comfortable for the rest of his days - but Stephens's grifting days are over at this point. He's wrecked someone's reputation, tarnished the image and profitability of a beloved children's TV character, and in the process exposed his own even worse past and destroyed his future prospects for the sake of a single payday for which he most likely lied. I wouldn't want to be Sheldon Stephens right now; if he lied, he'll need to ride this out to the bitter end.

667 days ago

Spicy mag    

Mister Rogers would never do this.

667 days ago


These guys need JK. This is one ****ed up, disgusting situation. I don't know who to believe

667 days ago


This proves the court of public opinion is rarely just or impartial.

667 days ago


If he was crying that he didn't want to sign it, then why did he? Oh yeah - 6 figures!!

667 days ago


18 or 16 whats the difference? Just because your 18 doesnt make you an adult, and it sure as heck doesnt mean you should be having sex with people twice your age, gay or not

667 days ago


PBS must be doing pretty good if this guy (lol) can drop 125 Gs for NOT being guilty

667 days ago


Sounds like a settlement was reached for underage sex etc. then the kid decided(his attorneys) to go back for more. Under the cir***stances this can't exactly be a surprise?

667 days ago


Great reporting tmz, lame
how hard is it to check on this kid and find out a little information.
125 k jewelry scam? you should have been able to see that the kid had was on a pron site since your on line looking all the time.

667 days ago


Funny how TMZ didn't mention a thing about this 'victim' being an aspiring model/actor with a criminal past and an EFFED up mother who was reportedly charged with attempted murder of her husband!

I sent info about Sheldon Stephens via the TMZ tip line 3 days ago and never even got a THANK YOU or an acknowledgment.

Please GOOGLE this guy’s name people! The fact TMZ has not said a negative word about the accuser says they are biased. TMZ is grasping at straws right now to justify ruining Kevin Clash’s reputation (and probably trying to avoid a lawsuit).

667 days ago


If the sex was between two consenting adults, then why did Clash pay this guy anything? Plus, why did Stephens wait SEVEN years before coming forward to claim he was underaged when the affair started? Sounds to me like Stephens needed some money and found a sure, easy way to secure some.

667 days ago


So is the deal off! Victim so ashamed he continued relationship. Now wanna get paid. He should have call 911 back then. He realized now everyone will know him and he will b marked. Age if accountability. All these yrs he accepted gifts trips he knew if this was wrong. A trap!

667 days ago


I call BS on the part where it says he was crying and didn't want to sign. The attorneys would never let him be coerced into signing something he didn't want to or they could be disbarred.

I also want to say that this boy is from Harrisburg, PA.(where I live). His mother was arrested for stabbing her husband repeatedly with scissors, even while on the ground. Her son posted comments defending her and then, the newspaper did a follow up article on him. My impression of him at that time was that he was emotionally unstable.

Make sure you click on the links in the article so you can read the original articles.

667 days ago
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