Just a few days ago, a young man accused Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo (and a native Baltimorean who graduated from Towson), of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with him. Clash denied the charges and Sesame Street defended him, saying that an investigation determined that the charges were “unsubstantiated.” Now we’re happy to report that the accuser has dropped the charges against Clash.
Via his lawyers, the young man released a statement saying that “his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship.” In a statement of his own, Clash said that he was “relieved” that the charges had been dropped, and said he wouldn’t discuss the matter further. On Monday, Clash issued a statement about the accusations: ““I am a gay man. I have never been ashamed of this or tried to hide it, but felt it was a personal and private matter. I had a relationship with the accuser. It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to characterize it as something other than what it was.”
Clash is still on leave from the show, and neither he nor Sesame Street Workshop has announced when he’s slated to return. When Indiewire spoke with a Sesame Street executive on Monday, the news didn’t sound good (“unless things suddenly move in Kevin’s direction right away, and he is proven to be a victim of an ugly smear, rather than an adult sexual predator of a minor, he is finished in the world of children’s entertainment”). But does the fact that Clash is innocent change things? We hope so.
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