Kevin Clash arrives at the 34th Kennedy Center Honors held at the Kennedy Center Hall of States on December 4, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Michael Tran/Getty Images)
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
NEW YORK (AP) - The puppeteer who provides the voice and the movements for "Elmo" on "Sesame Street" says he's "deeply sorry to be leaving" the show.
Kevin Clash has resigned, in the wake of an allegation that he had sex with an underage boy.
Last week, the producers of the show said he had requested a leave of absence following a charge by a man in his early 20s that he'd had a relationship with Clash when he was 16. Clash denied the charge, and his accuser recanted a day later, describing his sexual relationship with Clash as adult and consensual.
But a lawsuit was filed today in federal court in New York accusing Clash of sexual abuse of a second youth. The lawsuit alleges that a man who is now an adult was persuaded by Clash to meet for sexual encounters when he was 15. The lawsuit seeks millions of dollars in damages.
In a statement, Clash says that "personal matters have diverted attention" from what he says is "the important work Sesame Street is doing." He says he's looking forward to resolving those matters "privately."
Sesame Workshop says other puppeteers have been trained to serve as his stand-in as Elmo.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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