Puppeteer Kevin Clash and Elmo. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Gary Levin, USA TODAY
The unidentified man who accused Sesame Street's Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash of sexual abuse has recanted his account, and now says he was an adult at the time of their relationship.
Attorney Andreozzi & Associates, which acknowledged representing the 23-year-old man, said Tuesday, "He wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship," and said he would have no further comment. The firm has also represented victims of Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky.
"I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest," Clash said in a statement. "I will not discuss it further."
The man had said he and Clash, 52, initiated a sexual relationship seven years ago, at age 16, initiating a storm of media coverage when TMZ.com reported the story Monday. Clash admitted the relationship but denied the man was a minor. "I am deeply saddened that he is trying to characterize it as something other than what it was," he said in Monday's statement.
Clash took a leave of absence to refute the charges, and Sesame Workshop said understudies would begin voicing the beloved Muppet character in the interim. The company has not yet responded to a request for comment.