A day after his shocking allegations became public, the as-yet-unnamed man who accused famed Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash of having an improper sexual relationship with him when he was only 16 years old has now recanted his story.
“He wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship,” a statement released by the man’s attorneys read. “He will have no further comment on the matter.”
Clash, who announced a leave of absence from Sesame Street as the scandal unfolded, said through a spokesperson that he was “relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest.”
The charge of sexual misconduct shocked fans of Clash, who for 27 years has entertained children as the voice and spirit of the wildly popular, furry red Muppet Elmo, and who was profiled in the acclaimed 2011 documentary Being Elmo. Though Clash’s employers at Sesame Workshop had conducted their own investigation into the allegations and found them baseless, they did punish Clash for “poor judgment” related to a violation of the company’s Internet usage policy. No word yet on when Clash will end his leave of absence.