Sesame Workshop’s mission is to harness the educational power of media to help all children the world over reach their highest potential. Kevin Clash has helped us achieve that mission for 28 years, and none of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal 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 a sad day for Sesame Street.
The now-24-year-old man who accused Clash of underage sexual conduct had recanted his story, with his lawyer saying it was an “adult consensual relationship.” But just days after, the same accuser recanted that recantation.
The New York Post reports the resignation came after a second man stepped up to say Clash picked him up on a phone chat line when the puppeteer was 32 and the man was then 15.
The federal civil complaint, filed in New York by Cecil Singleton, alleged that Clash — now 52 — picked him up in 1993 on a gay phone chat line.
Singleton said he was 15 at the time, while Clash was 32.
“[Clash] trolled gay telephone chat line rooms to meet and have sex with underage boys,” Singleton claimed in his explosive lawsuit.
“[Clash] groomed [the accuser] to gain his trust by, among other things, taking him to nice dinners and giving him money.”
Even though the alleged sex happened nearly 20 years ago, Singleton said he remained silent all this time, because he didn’t know the psychological and emotional damage the intimate, underaged contact did.
The Smoking Gun posted “provocative” photos of Clash’s second accuser.
“I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately,” Clash said in a personal statement, according to the New York Times‘ Brian Stelter.
“Production of Sesame Street was unaffected by Mr. Clash’s leave of absence and presumably will not be affected by his resignation, either,” the Times reported. Another puppeteer will take over for Clash.
Can we get back to this kind of Sesame Street? THIS is how it’s done.
Also, check out what Mitt Romney is up to these days: