Kevin Clash, the Elmo Puppeteer accused twice of sex with an underage person, has resigned. Earlier this month, Sesame Street avoided a hard fate when Barack Obama was re-elected, Mitt Romney having threatened to axe the budget for PBS. However, sadly, as the second accuser has come forward, Sesame Street's luck has worn thin and Clash has resigned from the show, reports E!
Last week a 23 year old man named Sheldon Stephens came forward with accusations against Clash, saying that he and the Sesame Street co-executive producer had sexual relations when Stephens was just 16. Stephens later recanted the statement... only to recant his recant a few days ago. Yesterday a further accusation arose from Cecil Singleton, claiming that he and Clash had an innappropriate relationship when Singleton was just 15. Apparently, Singleton has filed a $5m lawsuit against Clash.
In a statement, Clash said: "I am resigning from Sesame Workshop with a very heavy heart," he said. "I have loved every day of my 28 years working for this exceptional organization. Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work Sesame Street is doing and I cannot allow it to go any longer. I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately."
Sesame Workshop also released a statement: "Sesame Workshop's mission is to harness the educational power of media to help all children the world over reach their highest potential. Kevin Clash has helped us achieve that mission for 28 years, and none of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin's personal life has become a distraction that none of us wants, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from Sesame Street. This is a sad day for Sesame Street."