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Elmo Puppeteer Kevin Clash Resigns From Sesame Street Amid Allegations of Child Abuse

Elmo Kevin Clash
Bryan Bedder, Getty Images

Life on the streets is pretty rough, even if that street is Sesame Street.

Kevin Clash, puppeteer behind the beloved Sesame Street character Elmo, has resigned from the program following allegations that he had sexually abused a 15-year-old boy. Although the first victim has since recanted the accusation, a second victim has now come forward claiming that Clash abused him as well.

Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash resigned from “Sesame Street” on Tuesday amid allegations he sexually abused underage boys, bringing an end to a 28-year career in which he turned the furry red monster into one of the most beloved — and lucrative — characters on TV and in toy stores.

“Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work ‘Sesame Street’ is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer,” the 52-year-old performer said in a statement. “I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately.”

His departure came as a 24-year-old college student, Cecil Singleton, sued Clash for more than $5 million Tuesday, accusing the actor of engaging in sexual behavior with him when he was 15. Singleton charged that Clash made a habit of trolling gay chat lines for underage boys and meeting them for sex.

It was the second such allegation in just over a week. On Nov. 12, a man in his 20s said he had sex with Clash at age 16. A day later, though, the young man recanted, saying their relationship was adult and consensual.

However, the end of Clash won’t mean the end of Elmo. Although Sesame Workshop hasn’t named any names yet, I predict they’ll find a new puppeteer for him quickly. After all, there’s no way Sesame Street would get rid of their biggest moneymaker.

As for Clash, his career is pretty much over regardless of whether he’s innocent or not. Of course, if he is guilty of something so disgusting, he deserves every bit of what’s happening to him and then some.

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