I had kind of hoped we could simply leave this damn story alone, after the 23-year-old man who alleged that Kevin Clash had underage sex with him had recanted his story. However, the story simply will not die. First, it was reported that Clash’s original accuser accepted $125,000 pay off to recant his story. Then, a few days later, the accuser said that he was coerced into accepting the settlement, and now he’s apparently recanting his recant, and he wants to sue to undo the settlement.
Meanwhile, another allegation — a kind of ridiculous one — surfaced from an accuser who claims that Clash had sex with him while he was an underage boy 20 years ago, claiming that the emotional effects of the incident didn’t rise to the surface until 2012. He’s seeking $5 million in damages, and also claims that Clash trolled gay chat lines to pick up underage boys back in the day.
Now, the Associated Press is reporting that Clash has resigned from “Sesame Street,” either because some or all of these allegations are true, or — and I hope more likely — Clash and “Sesame Street” mutually agreed that Clash’s association with a character targeted toward children was no longer sustainable due to the allegations.
Whatever the real story is, I just kind of hope it goes away. I don’t think I can handle it if this turns into another Sandunsky.
“Sesame Street” released this statement:
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 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.