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by Nigel M Smith
November 12, 2012 10:31 AM
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'Being Elmo' Subject Kevin Clash Takes Leave of Absence From 'Sesame Street' Following Underage Sex Allegations

Director Constance Marks with Kevin and Elmo. Photo courtesy of Submarine Deluxe.
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.

READ MORE: INTERVIEW | It's Good to Be Elmo: Kevin Clash and Constance Marks Talk About "Being Elmo"

"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:

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  • Christopher-J | November 12, 2012 8:36 PMReply

    16? Legal in Canada! (Except under certain situations.) Of course, even if someone from the States comes to Canada to be with their 16-year-old lover, they'd get prosecuted when they go back to the U.S. if found out. Anyhoo...

  • byyn | November 12, 2012 2:45 PMReply

    oh come on. A 16 year old male is not a child, especially in this day and age. They're old and savvy enough to make their own decisions when it comes to sex, especially if they live in a city like NYC.

  • Joe B. | November 12, 2012 11:19 AMReply

    It's disappointing to hear such an allegation, and hopefully it proves to be false. But let's hold the rush to judgement. This definitely smells like a money grab. If it turns out to be true, then I'll be the first one decry his actions. But until then: Innocent until proven guilty.