Sheldon Stephen, a struggling model/actor who claimed Kevin Clash had sex with him when he was underage, has reacted to report that he made up the story. The guy, who's in his 20's now, was hurt by people who jumped into quick conclusion without knowing the whole story.
"The whole world reacted in such a negative way, and they haven't really gotten a chance to know who I am and to even ask the right questions to figure out what kind of person I am," he said when making an appearance on CBS' syndicated show "The Insider".
"Rather, they reacted off of hearsay and rumor and speculation of the whole situation," Sheldon continued responding to the unfavorable comments about him following his claim against Kevin. "The biggest misconception about me is that I'm a liar, extortionist."
Sheldon accused Kevin, who's well known as the voice of Elmo, of having unlawful sex with him when he was just 16, but the "Sesame Street" puppeteer insisted their relationship was between two consenting adults. They later settled the case in an undisclosed agreement, and Sheldon recanted his claim.
A second man later filed a lawsuit against Kevin, alleging that the voice actor was engaged in sexual behavior with him while he was 15 after they met in a gay chat line. He is asking more than $5 million for "adverse psychological and emotional effects from Kevin Clash's sexual acts and conduct until 2012."
In the immediate wake of the lawsuit, Kevin who took a temporary leave following the first accusation resigned from his position as the voice of Elmo. "I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately," said the 52-year-old divorced father of a grown-up daughter.