Here’s something I never thought I’d read: Kevin Clash, otherwise known as the voice of Elmo from Sesame Street, was recently accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy. Elmo?! Sweet, funny, adorable, fuzzy Elmo? Say it isn’t so, world! I mean, yeah, Kevin and Elmo are not the same person (thing? Animal? Species? I don’t know what Elmo is, honestly), but still – I’m finding it pretty hard to believe that the squeaky voice behind Elmo’s huge smile did something so completely disturbing.
The story gets even weirder than that simple accusation. Although Kevin firmly denies that he had sex with an underage boy, he has still taken a leave of absence from Sesame Street to deal with everything that’s going on. Suspicious? Maybe. Or maybe Kevin is just trying to put all of his time into proving his innocence.
Here’s what happened: A 23-year-old man claimed that he started a sexual relationship with Kevin seven years ago, which would make him 16 and Kevin 45. While Kevin admitted that he did have a relationship with this dude, he insists that it happened only when the kid was legal. But still – a 30 year age difference? I’m all for dating older dudes, the saying age is just a number and all of that good stuff, but… it’s still pretty gross. And the fact that this guy was possibly underage at the time it allegedly happened (if his side of the story is right)? Even more gross.
As expected, the younger dude hired himself a lawyer, who eventually accused Sesame Workshop of trying to “discredit the victim in order to protect its employee and the image of one of it’s most valuable characters.” Basically, they said that the people over at Sesame Workshop were willing to let a statutory rapist run free in order to protect the reputation of a kid’s character as lovable and famous as Elmo. But Sesame Workshop told TMZ that they conducted a thorough investigation and they say there’s no evidence to prove that the claim of underage sex is true. While there are a few emails floating around, officials believe one is fake.
So, did Kevin have sex with an underage boy… or is this guy totally lying? I have no idea what would cause someone to make something like that up, but at the same time, it’s completely possible. I mean, some of the celeb lawsuits out there are seriously ridiculous (remember Justin Bieber’s baby mama drama?). Maybe things ended badly between these two and this is a sick form of revenge. Maybe the accuser is just trying to make money out of the deal. Or, maybe it really did happen. Who knows?
If you’re stressing over Elmo, don’t. Apparently, there are other people who can handle the voice of one of our favorite puppets, so there’s no need to worry about losing the little guy while Kevin takes his leave of absence. Sesame Workshop told TMZ: “Elmo is bigger than any one person and will continue to be an integral part of Sesame Street to engage, educate and inspire children around the world.”
Either way? It might be hard to ever look at Elmo the same way again. Sorry to ruin your childhood memories, guys.
Are you shocked by this story? Have you ever dated someone a lot older than you? Do you think that this guy is lying? Tell us in the comments.