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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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IF this man had been of age, there would have been NO REASON to settle.

I hope Sesame Street dumps this chump. It would serve him right.

516 days ago

Marco Polo    

Per the NY Daily News, the accuser has a troubled past: On Tuesday, Stephens recanted the underage accusation. The ordeal wasn’t the first time Stephens, a self-described “rare breed,” got in over his head, according to the site.

The 24-year-old was arrested in the Harrisburg, Pa., airport in 2009 on charges of receiving stolen property, The Smoking Gun reported. At the time, he was sporting a white gold necklace and ring a Los Angeles music manager said Stephens robbed from him. Stephens told cops the $250,000 in jewelry was a gift.

The case was eventually dismissed.

516 days ago


Yup, I knew this perv paid the kid off. What a dirtbag.

516 days ago

Izz Bizz    

Shame on him, but this young guy shouldn't have given in to the money do there's always more to the story

516 days ago


Does anyone think this kid blackmailed him into that money? It could happen. Especially since he went to the company first, as if to threaten them with embarrassment and scandal if they don't pay up. Remember what happened to David Letterman?

516 days ago


I said when he recanted, that the whole thing sounded like a payoff, and I was right! Just makes Kevin look worse!

516 days ago


It's hush money. The Elmo franchise is too huge, they will lose billions from sales that's why they paid him. Where are his parents? they could have protected him from threats. I'm sure he settled because they threatened him and his family. He was crying.

516 days ago

Simply Gorgeous Denise    

Smh Elmo... Lol.. Seriously self respect is more important no one can force you to sign n cash that check. If allegations were true no amount of money would be enough

516 days ago


They're both shady. If Stephens were truly the victim he claims he is, he wouldn't have taken the money. And if Clash were totally innocent, he would have filed a counter suit for defamation and never would have paid him off.

516 days ago


People with power/money prey on the weak minded. They think they can buy you. They think they are untouchables. I can see why they prey on young kids a lot, especially kids that are needy. They are used to getting everything they want because of their money, you telling me this guy wanted this kid so badly but waited until he was 18 to have sex with him? Yea sure!

516 days ago


Zero sympathy for the accuser. You took the money, you signed, now SHUT UP. Your blackmail scheme worked. If you were truly a victim, you would NEVER have signed for any amount of money.

516 days ago


I doubt very much Clash is guilty. Crying because he didn't extort him for as much as he wanted to. Clash likely figured this was the fastest way to get the guy off of his back, so he just paid him off, and for a considerably reasonable price all this considered. With Clash working with a children's program, though, Stephens had the upper hand, and I find it pretty reckless on Clash's part to have ever had any sort of affair with an adult this young considering the potential consequences.

516 days ago


Well the Elmo guy bought his way out of this one. The slick accuser will take the money and recant his recantation to as many people as possible and move on to play another person w/money

516 days ago


If Kevin is innocent, he shouldn't have offered money and if Sheldon is telling the truth, he shouldn't have signed. I see Sheldon as being taken advantage off because he could make more than $125K from interviews and a book. He had bad representation!!

516 days ago


No more Elmo for my baby.

516 days ago
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