Kevin Clash, Man Behind Elmo, Resigns as 2nd Accuser Alleges Abuse (Updated)

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Update 2: The second accuser, Cecil Singleton, said today that he and Clash did not have intercourse when he was a minor, but did allege that they engaged in sexual acts including groping, masturbation, and "dry-humping." This underage contact lasted for about two weeks, Singleton said at a Tuesday-afternoon press conference, before they allegedly picked up the relationship when Singleton was an adult. 


Update: Per Elizabeth Jensen and Brian Stelter at the New York Times, Clash officially resigned in his own statement, saying: "Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work Sesame Street is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer. I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately." We've also run across Singleton's Facebook page, where he posts frequent comments and photos but does not appear to have referenced Clash since he joined the social network in 2008.

Original post: Amidst a new wave of sexual-abuse allegations, Kevin Clash, the man who voices and operates the Elmo puppet, abruptly resigned from Sesame Street late Tuesday morning. Just as his initial accuser was recanting his recant, a second man has come forward, accusing Clash of engaging him in online chat rooms when he was underage. In a statement, the Sesame Workshop said that the controversy "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." 

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There had been some back-and-forth over whether Clash's first accuser was of legal age during the time of his alleged abuse, but according to the latest update from TMZ, this second accuser, 24-year-old Cecil Singleton (pictured at right via Myspace), alleges crimes in 2003, which would have made him 15 years old at the time. Singleton claims that Clash frequented "gay telephone chat line rooms to meet and have sex with underage boys." According to the lawsuit, which has been obtained but not released by TMZ, Clash "groomed [Singleton] to gain his trust by, among other things, taking him to nice dinners and giving him money." Singleton's suit is asking for over $5 million. 

We'll update this post as more details of the suit trickle in, but things are once again not looking up for Clash's reputation. It's also going to be hard to look at LOL Elmo the same way we might have this Black Friday



This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.