Kevin Clash, who has voiced the Sesame Street character Elmo for nearly three decades, has taken a “leave of absence” to fight allegations of under-age sex with a teenage boy, the Washington Post reported today.
Clash has admitted he had sex with his accuser, but he told celebrity gossip website TMZ that it was “between two consenting adults.”
The accuser, now aged 23, claims he was 16 when he and Clash started a sexual relationship, Fox News reported.
Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind the long-running children's educational program, said it had granted Clash leave of absence so he could “to protect his reputation,” Washington Post said.
"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," Sesame said in a statement to Fox.
"This was a personal relationship, unrelated to the workplace. We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action."
But, according to Sky News, Sesame’s investigation found the “allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated.”
It did, however, reveal that "Kevin exercised poor judgment and violated company policy regarding internet usage and he was disciplined,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
Clash, 52, has voiced Elmo since the 1980s and has received numerous awards for his work as Elmo, Sky News said.
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