Parents across the nation were shocked when three men accused Kevin Clash, the voice and puppeteer of Elmo, of sexual abuse at the beginning of November which caused a media storm of allegations and speculations.
Now, almost a month later, a fourth man has allegedly come forward, claiming that Clash sexually abused him in 1996. In his lawsuit, he claims that Clash befriended him in late 1995 or early 1996 when he was 16 or 17. Then, in 1996, he says that Clash few him from Miami to New York at Clash's expense. It's during his stay in New York that the man claims the alleged abuse took place.
In all four cases, the plaintiff's accuse Clash of befriending them when they were between the ages of 16 and 17, stating that Clash then engaged in sexual activities with them. According to many critics, including Clash's publicist, the accusations are untrue and that these men are out for publicity. According to the third accuser, "I too at first thought it was a money thing" but states that his accusations are supposed to be to support the allegations made by the second accuser.
In November, Clash resigned from his 28 year position at Sesame Street so as not to bring negative media attention to the show from the sex crime allegations. In a statement he released in early November he stated, "Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work 'Sesame Street' is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer."
It is unclear at this time how long the trial is likely to continue or what the outcome will be.
Entertainment Today, "Elmo actor faces sex abuse claim from fourth accuser," Courtney Hazlett, Dec. 10, 2012
Entertainment Today, "Ex-Elmo puppeteer faces new allegation of sex with minor," Nov. 27, 2012