The man whose voice became the clarion call of Sesame Street every time he laughed and sang “Elmo’s World” can finally mutter a sigh of relief.
Kevin Clash, 53, the man behind the furry faced myth, was officially cleared of sexual abuse charges in a U.S. Court of Appeals.
In 2012, Clash was accused of molesting multiple young men who asked him how to get to Sesame Street. Those allegations cause Clash to lose a job and children everywhere to lose a voice that been with them since infancy.
It was tragic news. Two years later (sad how some justice just isn’t that swift), he has been cleared of charges, but will the stain be cleared of his reputation?
“The case was dismissed because of the statute of limitations. There is no ruling on the merits,” the plaintiffs’ attorney Jeff Herman said.
So, essentially, all three cases were thrown out of court on a technicality — the accusers filed too late. Understanding that, does Kevin Clash get his lily white reputation back? No one threw down a gavel and shouted “Not guilty.” Instead, someone told his lawyer, “Uh yeah? Don’t bother coming in to work today.”
Think about all the issues there are with this charge being thrown out of court. It took two years for some judge in New York to check his calendar and say, “Oh sorry. We’re closed. You filed too late.” And then, there’s Clash with this legalese statement:
“Kevin is pleased by the judge’s decision,” his attorney, Michael G. Berger, said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “As we have maintained all along, our goal has been to put these spurious claims behind him so that Kevin can go about the business of re-claiming his personal life and his professional standing, which was recently recognized once again by the three Emmys he won last month.”
Berger added: “The judge’s decision to dismiss and close the three lawsuits is an important step in that direction. Kevin is looking forward to a time in the near future when he can tell his story free of innuendo and false claims.”
Get that, kids? “Tell his story free of innuendo.” We call that “a tease” in show business because that smacks of a book deal and a whirlwind media tour. Since 1985, Clash has been Elmo. Moving forward, he has his memories, skill, and 26 Emmys adorning his mantle, but now what?
I suppose we will have to wait to see the skeletons hurling out that closet in Elmo’s World. They’ll be in the pictures of Clash’s pending tell-all.