The Associated Press is reporting that Kevin Clash, the puppeteer behind Elmo, has resigned, and a second man has filed a lawsuit accusing Clash of sexual improprieties.
According to AP, the new lawsuit alleges that Cecil Singleton “was persuaded by Clash to meet for sexual encounters” when he was 15. The complaint seeks damages of more than $5 million.
Sesame Workshop released a statement today saying that “unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us wants, 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.”
Clash released a statement saying that he resigns “with a very heavy heart. ”
Clash’s first accuser initially recanted his complaint that Clash had an inappropriate relationship with him when he was underage. The gossip website TMZ reported Monday that the young man, whom it identified as Sheldon Stephens, now stands by his original allegations.