Elmo puppeteer cleared of underage relationship allegations - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Accuser withdraws allegations against Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash

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The man who accused Elmo's puppeteer of an inappropriate sexual relationship has recanted. (Source: Kevin Clash/Facebook) The man who accused Elmo's puppeteer of an inappropriate sexual relationship has recanted. (Source: Kevin Clash/Facebook)

(RNN) - Kevin Clash, the puppeteer who voices the famous red Muppet named Elmo, might find his way back to Sesame Street after the man who accused him of having an underage sexual relationship recanted his statement.

Clash took a leave of absence from the children's television program Monday after gossip website TMZ reported that an unidentified man said Clash had a sexual relationship with him while he was still a minor.

There is no word as to when Clash will return.

"I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest," Clash said in a statement released Tuesday. "I will not discuss it further."

Clash's accuser was represented by Andreozzi & Associates, the law firm representing one of the victims in the Jerry Sandusky sexual assault case. The Harrisburg, PA-based firm also released a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying the accuser "wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship."

On Monday, the unidentified man claimed Clash began a sexual relationship with him when he was 16, about seven years ago. Clash, who admitted to being gay, said the relationship began after he became an adult.

In a statement made after the man's allegations were made public, Clash said he was "deeply saddened" that the accuser was trying to make their relationship "something other than what it was."

Clash has been the voice of Elmo since 1985. He was married once and has a 19-year-old daughter.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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