Sesame Workshop has just released a statement on its blog announcing that Elmo actor Kevin Clash has resigned. This is a response to the lawsuit filed against him for having sex with another underage boy.
Kevin was previously accused by another guy, Sheldon Stephens (now 23), who claimed that he had a sexual relationship with him when he was 16 years old. But Kevin successfully bought his way out – by parting with $125,000 in exchange for the recanting of the damaging allegation, or so he thought. Stephens has already changed his mind concerning the monetary settlement, insisting that his story is true.
While Kevin Clash was still busy trying to get out of the Stephens mess, he got hit by another similar lawsuit, this time from another dude called Cecil Singleton. Singleton, now in his 30s, is saying that he and Kevin had a sexual relationship when he was 15 and Kevin 32, claiming that they met on a gay phone chat line back in 1993. He is claiming $5 million in damages, adding that he never realized how badly he had suffered adverse psychological and emotional effects from Kevin Clash’s sexual acts and conduct until 2012.
This accusation apparently was the last straw that broke the camel’s back, because shortly after Kevin Clash’s resignation was announced by Sesame Street.
The statement from Sesame Workshop reads:
Sesame Workshop’s mission is to harness the educational power of media to help all children the world over reach their highest potential. Kevin Clash has helped us achieve that mission for 28 years, and none of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us wants, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from Sesame Street. This is a sad day for Sesame Street.
[Image credit: Reuters]