By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire November 12, 2012 at 10:31AM
The subject of last year's Sundance award-winning documentary "Being Elmo," Kevin Clash -- known the world over as the man behind Elmo on "Sesame Street" -- has taken a leave of absence from the show in the wake of allegations he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy. Clash admitted to having a relationship with the now 23-year-old man, but told TMZ it took place after the accuser was an adult. The performer is now in the process of "taking actions," per Sesame Workshop, to defend his reputation, hence his break from the hit kid's show.
Sesame Workshop has meanwhile determined the allegation of underage sex to be unsubstantiated, after meeting with the accuser twice. "Although this was a personal relationship unrelated to the workplace, our investigation did reveal that Kevin exercised poor judgment and violated company policy regarding internet usage and he was disciplined," they stated. TMZ reports that the company emails between Clash and the accuser did not suggest there was underage sex.
"I had a relationship with [the accuser]," Clash told TMZ. "It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to make it into something it was not."
Watch the trailer for "Being Elmo," the documentary about Clash, below: