And here’s another little bit of your childhood dying a slow, horrible death right before your eyes.
45-year-old Kevin Clash, or as you may better know him, the voice of Sesame Street’s Elmo, has been accused of having a 7-year-long sexual relationship with an unidentified 23-year-old man. Doing the math, that would’ve made Kevin around 38 start of their affair, while the man would’ve just been 16 years old.
Sesame Workshop’s attorneys confirmed to TMZ they’ve communicated with the man and have even met with him twice to discuss the allegations. Kevin himself has admitted to having a relationship with the man, but that it didn’t begin until after the man was an adult.
Insiders on the case claim Sesame Workshop were trying to keep the man quiet for fear of publicity. The man ended up hiring Andreozzi and Associates, which is the same law firm who repped the victims in the Jerry Sandusky case.
On August 15, 2012 … Andreozzi fired off a letter to Sesame, accusing the company of trying to “discredit the victim in order to protect its employee and the image of one of its most valuable characters,” adding, “This approach places a greater value on a puppet than the well being of a young man.”
Sesame Workshop officials tell TMZ … they conducted a thorough investigation and determined the allegation of underage sex was unsubstantiated. They say they never tried to silence the accuser — rather they asked for evidence supporting his claim, but he never produced it.
Officials also tell us they’re suspicious because the accuser has an email which TMZ obtained — purportedly sent to him by Clash, acknowledging they had the affair when he was 16. The officials say the accuser never mentioned such an email existed and they believe it’s fraudulent.
But there were other emails between Clash and the accuser, and although they don’t suggest there was underage sex, officials tell us they disciplined him for inappropriate use of company email.
Sesame Workshop honchos tell TMZ … “Kevin insists that these allegations are false and defamatory and he has taken actions to protect his reputation. We have granted him a leave of absence to do so.”
It’s really too soon to know fully what’s going on here, but both sides are coming off as shady. I would really like to believe the voice of Elmo could never do something like this.
However “Tickle Me Elmo” now takes on a whole new meaning…and not in a good way.