A fourth man has filed a lawsuit against Sesame Street puppeteer Kevin Clash alleging sexual abuse. The latest suit was filed today in Miami, NBC News reports. The unidentified accuser claims Clash befriended him in late 1995 or early 1996 and flew him from Miami to New York where the abuse allegedly occurred. Clash resigned after 28 years on Sesame Street last month after a second accuser filed suit alleging he had underage sex with the puppeteer. The first accuser in the scandal came forward in early November after filing a lawsuit; Clash was put on leave by series producer Sesame Workshop; that accuser later recanted his story.
UPDATED: Sesame Street producer Sesame Workshop made it official on its blog this morning as a lawsuit was being filed in New York federal court charging Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash with sexual abuse of a minor, according to the Associated Press. The suit — which alleges that Cecil Singleton, then 15 and now an adult, was persuaded by Clash to meet for sexual encounters — marks the second accuser to come forward and allege an underage relationship with the multiple Emmy winner, who has been on the PBS series since 1982. Earlier this month, an unidentified man said he had a sexual relationship with Clash beginning when the man was 16. Clash took a leave of absence after those allegations were made public, but his accuser the next day took back his story, claiming the relationship was adult and consensual, and Clash said he was “relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest”. Here’s Sesame Workshop’s statement today announcing Clash’s departure:
Sesame Street‘s signature character Elmo will probably soon sound a little different. Kevin Clash, the puppeteer who has performed as the beloved red monster for the past 27 years, has been put on leave by Sesame Street producer Sesame Workshop over allegations he had a sexual relationship with a teen boy. The move comes on the heels of Sesame Street becoming a symbol of the campaign to defund PBS following Mitt Romney’s Big Bird comments during the first Presidential debate.