The controversies surrounding the voice of Elmo's personal life have become a distraction, so he decided to leave the show after 28 years.
Story has developed that Kevin Clash had sex with not only with one but two underage boys. Following his accuser, Sheldon Stephens', persistence about the truth of their past relationship, a new accusation came from a second man by the name of Cecil Singleton.
Per TMZ, Singleton claimed that he had sex with Clash when he was 15 years old and the "Sesame Street" puppeteer was 32. Singleton, who is now in his 30s, said they met through a gay phone chat line back in 1993. "[Clash] trolled gay telephone chat line rooms to meet and have sex with underage boys," Singleton said.
Filing a lawsuit against Clash on Tuesday, November 20, Singleton said in the documents that Clash "groomed [the accuser] to gain his trust by, among other things, taking him to nice dinners and giving him money." Singleton also claimed that Clash liked "preying on teenage boys to satisfy his depraved sexual interests." He is asking more than $5 million for "adverse psychological and emotional effects from Kevin Clash's sexual acts and conduct until 2012."
At the same time, Clash has resigned from "Sesame Street". In a statement released Tuesday, Sesame Workshop said the controversy surrounding the voice of Elmo "has become a distraction that none of us want, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from Sesame Street".
Clash's departure may not affect the production of the children series. A Sesame Workshop executive said last week that other actors have been filling in for Clash when he was off work.