Was Sheldon Stephens Paid $125,000 to Drop Allegations Against Elmo's Kevin Clash?
Last week it came to light that Kevin Clash, the voice and movement behind Sesame Street's beloved Elmo, had been accused of having sex with an under age boy, Sheldon Stephens.
Stephens accused Clash of having sexual relations with him when he was aged just 16, which Clash fervently denied. Then, a few days later, Stephens took back his accusation and released a statement via lawyers, the Huffington Post reported at the time, which read:
"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.'"
Now, Stephens has recanted he recant and, according to TMZ, claims that he was 'literally crying' when being asked to sign the statement, continuing to maintain that he did have a sexual relationship with Clash when he was aged 16. Clash paid Stephens $125,000 to sign the document, according to multiple TMZ sources, but was under a lot of pressure to do so. Stephens is now 23 and having met with lawyers is reportedly saying that he'll happily give up the six-figure-sum given to him by the Sesame Street exec. to ensure his own name remains unsullied.
Is this a story of avid fame hunger, or a truly tragic tale of an exploited teenager? Quite simply, we don't know what to believe.