NEW YORK (AP) — The puppeteer who provides the voice and the movements for "Elmo" on "Sesame Street" says he's "deeply sorry to be leaving" the show.
Kevin Clash has resigned, in the wake of an allegation that he had sex with an underage boy.
Last week, the producers of the show said he had requested a leave of absence following a charge by a man in his early 20s that he'd had a relationship with Clash when he was 16. Clash denied the charge, and his accuser recanted a day later, describing his sexual relationship with Clash as adult and consensual.
But a lawsuit was filed today in federal court in New York accusing Clash of sexual abuse of a second youth. The lawsuit alleges that a man who is now an adult was persuaded by Clash to meet for sexual encounters when he was 15. The lawsuit seeks millions of dollars in damages.
In a statement, Clash says that "personal matters have diverted attention" from what he says is "the important work Sesame Street is doing." He says he's looking forward to resolving those matters "privately."
Sesame Workshop says other puppeteers have been trained to serve as his stand-in as Elmo.
225-c-14-(Michael Weinfeld, AP entertainment editor)-"he was 15"-AP Entertainment Editor Michael Weinfeld tells us that new sex allegations have prompted Kevin Clash to resign. (20 Nov 2012)
<<CUT *225 (11/20/12)>> 00:14 "he was 15"
223-v-32-(Michael Weinfeld, AP entertainment editor)--Elmo's puppeteer is leaving "Sesame Street." AP Entertainment Editor Michael Weinfeld tells us that new sex allegations are being made against Kevin Clash. (20 Nov 2012)
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APPHOTO NYET722: FILE - In this Jan. 24, 2011 file photo, Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash poses with the "Sesame Street" muppet in the Fender Music Lodge during the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Sesame Workshop says Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash has resigned from "Sesame Street" in the wake of allegations that he had sex with an under-aged youth. Last week a man accused Clash of having sex with him when he was a teenage boy, a charge Clash denied. A day later, the man recanted his charge. A lawsuit by a second accuser was filed Tuesday, Nov. 20, according to attorney Cecil Singleton. (AP Photo/Victoria Will, File) (24 Jan 2011)
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