Elmo Puppeteer Accused Of Underage Relationship

View Comments
Puppeteer Kevin Clash speaks during the 'Independent Lens - Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey' panel during the PBS portion of the 2011 Summer TCA Tour held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 31, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Puppeteer Kevin Clash speaks during the ‘Independent Lens – Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey’ panel during the PBS portion of the 2011 Summer TCA Tour held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 31, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Celebrity Photo Galleries

NEW YORK (AP) — The puppeteer who performs as Elmo on “Sesame Street” is taking a leave of absence from the popular kids’ show following allegations that he had a relationship with a 16-year-old boy.

Sesame Workshop says puppeteer Kevin Clash denies the charges, which were first made in June by the alleged partner, who by then was 23.

In a statement issued Monday, Sesame Workshop said its investigation found the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated. But it said Clash exercised “poor judgment” and was disciplined for violating company policy regarding Internet usage. It offered no details.

At his request, Clash has been granted a leave of absence in order to “protect his reputation,” Sesame Workshop says. No duration for the leave was specified. Clash has voiced and animated Elmo since the 1980s.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,597 other followers