Elmo puppeteer remains on leave; allegations of improper relationship recanted

Following this week’s  media scandal over allegations that were aggressively rebutted and later recanted, award-winning Sesame Street puppeteer Kevin Clash remains on a leave from his role as Elmo, one of the show’s most beloved characters. An accusation that Clash had an inappropriate relationship with an underage boy, published online early Nov. 12 by gossip news site TMZ, prompted Clash to request leave so that he could defend his reputation. Sesame Workshop, which looked into the allegations after learning of them in June, granted the leave and issued a statement:

“We . .

Elmo puppeteer on leave after allegation of improper relationship; accuser recants

Puppeteer Kevin Clash, the performer behind Elmo, one of Sesame Street’s most beloved characters,  has taken a leave of absence following news reports of an allegation that he had an inappropriate relationship with an underage boy, according to a statement released today by Sesame Workshop. The accuser recanted Tuesday afternoon (see update, below). The Workshop heard of the allegation in June, when a 23-year-old who claimed to have had a relationship with Clash at the age of 16 first communicated with the company. “We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action,” the Workshop said in its statement. “We met with the accuser twice and had repeated communications with him.