Elmo puppeteer cleared of improper sexual relationship

A man who accused “Sesame Street” puppeteer Kevin Clash of involving him in an improper sexual relationship has recanted his allegation.

As first reported by the New York Times, the lawyer for the anonymous accuser said Tuesday that he and Clash, who is the famed puppeteer behind Elmo on “Sesame Street,” had an adult consensual relationship. Monday, news broke that Clash was accused of being in the relationship when the other person was 16.

“I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest,” Clash said in a statement. “I will not discuss it further.”

Sesame Workshop had said Monday that it had investigated the charge and had “found the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated.” Clash was placed on a leave of absence. He was disciplined, however, for improper Internet usage.

“We are pleased that this matter has been brought to a close, and we are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode,” Sesame Workshop said in a new statement Tuesday.

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