Seems like we just can’t quite keep up with the ongoing PR crisis surrounding puppeteer Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo. After a man accused Clash of having an “improper relationship” with him when he was 16, recanted and settled, then tried to re-file his claim, today brings news of a second man looking to take Clash to court.
According to TMZ, an unnamed accuser in his 30’s filed a lawsuit against Clash today. He claims that the two met on a gay phone chat line when he was 15 and Clash was 32–and that they maintained an ongoing relationship.
And now for the predictably gory details: This latest accuser claims that, although the relationship began nearly 20 years ago, he did not take legal action until now because he “did not become aware that he had suffered adverse psychological and emotional effects from Kevin Clash’s sexual acts and conduct until 2012”. The lawsuit even veers into character assassination, citing Clash’s “depraved sexual interests” and claiming that he used his status as an entertainer to “[prey] on teenage boys.”
Oh, and this guy’s legal team learned something from the first settlement: their filing included a demand for “more than $5 million.”
We wish we had no more to report on this unfortunate story. Even if the latest case ends with a settlement or a dismissal of all charges, the legal saga will continue to be a major headache for the Sesame Street brand.
UPDATE: Sesame Workshop just released a statement announcing that Kevin Clash has resigned from Sesame Street in the wake of these newest allegations, citing the puppeteer’s conclusion that “he can no longer be effective in his job”. A sad day for the whole team.