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Thursday 24 July 2014

Elmo actor quits after sex claims

Published 20/11/2012|16:39

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The actor playing Sesame Street's Elmo character has quit (AP)
Kevin Clash has quit playing the Sesame Street character Elmo (AP)

Sesame Street's Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash has resigned from the show in the wake of allegations that he had sex with an under-age youth.

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Last week a man accused Clash of having sex with him when he was a teenager, a charge he denied. A day later, the man withdrew his claims.

But a lawsuit by a second accuser has been filed. Lodged in federal court in New York, it alleges that Cecil Singleton, then 15 and now an adult, was persuaded by Clash to meet for sexual encounters.

The show's production company Sesame Workshop called the controversy surrounding Clash's personal life "a distraction that none of us want" and led to his decision to leave the show.

Clash created the voice and persona for Elmo, who has become one of Sesame Street's most popular characters.

Clash's exit followed a tumultuous week that began on November 12 with a statement from the company that Clash had requested a leave of absence following an accusation by a man in his early 20s that he had had a relationship with Clash when he was 16.

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