Nation/World

Man retracts claim about Elmo actor

NEW YORK – The unnamed man who accused Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash of pursuing an underage sexual relationship with him when he was just 16 has recanted his story.

Andreozzi & Associates, the law firm representing the 23-year-old accuser, released a statement Tuesday denying the charges. “He wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship. He will have no further comment on the matter.” The law firm did not disclose the identity of its client.

“I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest. I will not discuss it further,” Clash, who has been the voice of Elmo since 1985, said via a spokesperson.

On Monday, Sesame Workshop, the company that produces “Sesame Street,” announced that Clash would be taking a leave of absence from the show in order to “(take) actions to protect his reputation.” According to Sesame Workshop, the accuser first contacted the organization in June. After conducting its own investigation, including two meetings with the accuser, Sesame Workshop concluded that his charges were “unsubstantiated.”

The company also released a brief follow-up statement Tuesday. “We are pleased that this matter has been brought to a close, and we are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode,” it read.



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