Kevin Clash, the puppeteer behind Elmo, resigned from Sesame Street on Tuesday amid the second allegation this month that he had an inappropriate relationship with an underage boy.
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The popular children’s show released this statement Tuesday:
“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 wants, 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.”
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Clash was just in the headlines last week when a 23-year-old man who said he had a relationship with the puppeteer as a teenager recanted the explosive allegation. At the time, Clash insisted that the allegation was false and defamatory. Sesame Street granted him a leave of absence from the show in order to “protect his reputation,” the workshop said in the statement.
"I am resigning from Sesame Workshop with a very heavy heart. I have loved every day of my 28 years working for this exceptional organization. Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work Sesame Street is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer. I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately," said Clash in a statement released Tuesday.