|The only thing my hand going into is my friend Elmo! - Kevin Clash.|
Clash for his part, came out the closet and admitted that he's a Black gay man. He denied that he messed with the accuser when he was a boy. Clash's accuser claimed that he was 16-year-old when they had a sexual encounter. The accuser at age 23, could not produce enough information to make the case against Clash.
Clash was suspended by Sesame Workshop for using emails to exchange contact with the accuser.
Clash is the iconic voice of Elmo, a role that he's done for over twenty years.
Although the accuser recanted his story about the relationship, this controversy opens up a potential for more accusers. But in the meantime, Clash issued a statement through his representative: "I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest. I will not discuss it further."
The 2011 documentary about his life, Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey. In that film, Clash opened up about his upbringing in a black suburb of Baltimore, his early obsession with Disney and puppets, and that he was teased in school for playing with dolls. But despite the personal nature of the documentary, Clash, who is now 52, did not come out as gay.
On Monday, that changed, under the worst possible circumstances: "I am a gay man,” he said in a statement issued by his representative. “I have never been ashamed of this or tried to hide it, but felt it was a personal and private matter."