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.