NEWSFLASH! Kevin Clash Resigns From 'Sesame Street' (Clash And The Sesame Workshop Respond)

Television
by Sergio
November 20, 2012 4:39 PM
14 Comments
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As I just said this morning, just when you think it's over, something else happens.

Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash today resigned from Sesame Street, no doubt as a result of new allegations by a second accuser, who filed a lawsuit today in New York Federal Court.

The accuser, Cecil Singleton, who is currently a 24 year old college student, claims that he had a two week relationship with Clash in 2003, when he was 15 years old. 

Singleton's lawyer, Miami based Jeff Herman, who specializes in sexual abuse cases, is seeking $5 million in damages, and he claims that he has been contacted by two other potential victims of Clash, adding that there will be some some legal action on their behalf as well.

In an official statement from Clash he said that: "I am resinging from Sesame Workshop with a heavy heavy heart. I have loved working every day of my 28 years for this exceptional organization. Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work Sesame Street is doing and I cannot alow it to go on any longer. I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately."

For it's part the Sesame Workshop released their own statement saying that "Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin's perosnal 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 sad day for Sesame Street."

As I reported last week, the word among insiders at the Worskhop was that Clash's career on the program was alreadt over. And of course, without saying, this whole situation is going to be a major headache for the Workshop and PBS.

A sad end to a once wonderful career.

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14 Comments

  • Anthony J. Langford | November 21, 2012 5:27 PMReply

    A sad day for Sesame Street but this is not looking good for him. If you're paying off accusers then it only suggests one thing. He should have known better.

    It's also a shame 'journalists' don't bother to proof read their material before publishing. There are two glaring errors in this short piece. Lowers all credibility.

  • Orville | November 21, 2012 2:57 PMReply

    I think there is an element of homophobia here. Elvis Presley slept with Priscilla when she was only sixteen nobody cared. R Kelly likes teenage girls there is even a video tape of him sleeping and peeing on them nobody cared. Rob Lowe screwed a sixteen year old girl in the 1980s it didn't hurt his career.
    It is a wrap for Kevin Clash I think his first huge mistake was paying off the first grifter $125,000 dollars that's a lot of money! Now, I hear a second grifter is coming out of the woodwork and more criminals are going after the guy. Sesame Street had no choice given the fact the show is geared towards young kids and the parents probably don't want someone accused of being a child predator to be around their kids.

    I think Clash blinked too soon he needed to be stronger and fight the allegations and NOT pay Stephens. Now that Clash has paid Stephens more guys are going to come forward and go after him. Very tragic and sad story.

  • JMac | November 21, 2012 10:02 PM

    Elvis and Priscilla - different time and mentality and not nearly as broad an age difference. Now if she were 13 you'd have the Jerry Lee Lewis situation and his career did suffer. I remember the Rob Lowe incident clearly and nobody wanted to be associated with that guy for years because of it. Didn't start getting hired for high profile gigs until Wayne's World and wasn't firmly back in Hollywood's good graces until West Wing. Many DJs refused to play R. Kelly's music when the news came out - lost revenue. I still don't hear his music as much as before. And yes none of your examples were individuals who primarily worked around children. Need to compare it to a high school teacher having sex with a student... even if it's a former student that just graduated. Parents and school board would push such an individual out pronto regardless of legal consent technicalities.

  • turner | November 21, 2012 9:10 PM

    None of your examples worked in children's entertainment and that's the difference here. However I feel pathetic is a more apt description of his downfall rather than tragic or sad. No one died after all. He's a puppeteer! Not a brain surgeon with a waiting list of patients who'll die unless he alone performs their operation.

  • Darkan | November 21, 2012 4:10 PM

    Orville, I can truly say that this is one time on this subject I totally agree with you.

  • Aaron Lee Scott | November 21, 2012 12:36 PMReply

    His first mistake was revealing himself to the world as being the voice of one of the most popular characters on the show then the "My Life As Elmo" documentary. He painted a target on his own back.

  • JMac | November 21, 2012 1:56 PM

    No. First mistake is screwing around with young guys with troubled pasts who he promises to protect and make their dreams come true.

  • sergio | November 20, 2012 7:32 PMReply

    Sorry for the way the post looked earlier. Sometimes the site has techincal probelms and doesn't behave the way it's supposed to. Hopefully the problem has been cleared up

  • slice | November 26, 2012 3:11 PM

    @JMAC

    "Different time and mentality"?

    Excuse me? From what I read Elvis started seeing Priscilla when she was around 14 and he was in his early thirties---that's a hell of a broad difference. That was still illegal in some states around that time---funny how people always seem to overlook that. And how is being in a documentary about yourself making yourself a target for anything? I can't help wondering why this guy waited nearly 10 years to sue if that happened. Now it's as if other people are jumping on what they consider tp be a gravy train---very sad. All I can say is that I hope he didn't do it.

  • Sad | November 20, 2012 6:11 PMReply

    Another week another respected famous man caught in a sex scandal. I believe in innocent until proven guilty but it's not looking good. Even if he didn't have sex with these boys until they turned 18 he was a man in his late 40's having sex with 18, 19 year old boys. A man who's fanbase is children. Come on now. After the scandal about the BBC protecting a pedophile for years just because the audience loved him I bet Sesame Street got scared and pushed him to resign.

  • ALM | November 20, 2012 6:07 PMReply

    Lord, have mercy. We need to keep praying. It's hard to know what's fact or fiction.

  • starry118 | November 21, 2012 12:25 AM

    This.

  • I dunno. | November 20, 2012 6:04 PMReply

    Wow. I really wish it hadn't come to this, but it was somehow expected. It's quite upsetting that it had to end like this. I hope the allegations aren't true. Alot of the details of these allegations still trouble me. So terrible his career was ended for this.

  • D.C. Kirkwood | November 20, 2012 5:11 PMReply

    This is truly sad but Im glad he's making a responsible decision to step down even though he really had no choice. I hope this doesn't prevent "real victims" from coming forward when they are preyed upon by older men whether gay or straight. I say "real" because alot of people don't see these young men as victims because they are asking for money. I do see them as victims because he's an adult and he knows better and should have been dating and having sex with men his age. A man his age had to be giving these young men gifts as their sugar daddy the same way older men give young women gifts for sex. So why now should we be surprised they are trying to sue him for money. If the allegations are true trust he was already paying out money for sex so if that how it started unfortunately that is how it going to end. Plus he may do jail time. If he does jail time then a couple of inmates are going to try to tickle his Elmo. He better get prepared.

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