Following allegations from a new accuser, Kevin Clash, the voice behind Sesame Street's Elmo, has resigned from the children's show. Details follow.
A Sesame Workshop statement released to the New York Times moments ago reads:
Sesame Workshop’s mission is to harness the educational power of media to help all children the world over reach their highest potential. Kevin Clash has helped us achieve that mission for 28 years, and none of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us want, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from Sesame Street. This is a sad day for Sesame Street.
According to TMZ, 24-year old aspiring model Cecil Singleton has been named as a second accuser in the evolving storyline.
In the suit, the accuser reveals his name -- Cecil Singleton.
Among the allegations, Singleton claims, "[Clash] trolled gay telephone chat line rooms to meet and have sex with underage boys."
In the lawsuit, filed in federal court in NYC, Singleton claims Clash "groomed [the accuser] to gain his trust by, among other things, taking him to nice dinners and giving him money." Singleton claims while Clash was featured on "Sesame Street," he was "preying on teenage boys to satisfy his depraved sexual interests."
In a mysterious post that seems to allude to the impending lawsuit, Cecil wrote on Facebook on November 10, "There isn't much to say but the truth, when you feel like some1 has under-valued your relationship over the years. It doesn't always come out, "finessed". But that's the consequence 4 looking the other way 4 a while. Any who, I'm really looking fwd to the prospects of this January. There's a lot in motion, w/o getting in to specifics."
On Monday, Sheldon Stephens, the original plaintiff in the Clash case, said he lied about lying during an alleged settlement he reached with Clash. Sheldon said his accusations of being sexually abused as a minor by the actor were all true, despite the deal he was pressured to sign.