Kevin Clash, the voice of Sesame Street's Elmo, resigned on Tuesday, November 20 after a second man came forward with allegations against him having sex with a minor.
charged with a $5 million lawsuit as first reported by TMZ, labeling him a pedophile.
was filed by Cecil Singleton, a 24 year old who claims Clash seduced him at age
"He presented himself as the perfect gentleman," Singleton said of meeting Clash in 2003. "He told me how beautiful I was...After dinner, we walked and talked. He asked me if I might come to his apartment so he could give me a proper good-night kiss. He gave me the most passionate kiss I ever had experienced."
The lawsuit claims that the 52 year old met Singleton on a gay chat line and soon after began taking him to dinner and giving him money.
The first accuser, a 23 year old, claimed that he was 16 when he and Clash began their sexual relationship. A day later he renounced the claims as a consensual adult relationship after Clash denied the allegations.
According to the NY Daily News, the anonymous accuser received a $125, 000 settlement to withdraw the charges. There are reports that he wants to return the settlement.
"...None of us, especially Kevin, wants anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization," said Sesame Workshop in a statement. "Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin's personal life has become a distraction that none of us want 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."
Sesame Workshop offered Clash a leave of absence after the first allegation and has accepted the puppeteer's resignation.
" ...I am
deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal
matters privately," Clash said in a statement.
Clash's 28-year role as the voice of Elmo has won him 23 daytime Emmy awards, one prime-time Emmy and national attention for his 2011 documentary Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey.