Kevin Clash, the longtime voice and puppeteer behind “Sesame Street’s" Elmo character, resigned Tuesday after a new allegation was made that he had underage sexual relationships.
Announcing the decision with what he called a “very heavy heart," Clash said in a statement, “Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work ‘Sesame Street’ is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer. I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately."
His statement came at around the same time that a lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York accusing him of “sexual activity" with a 15-year-old. The accuser is now 24. The suit seeks $5 million in damages.
Clash had no comment on the lawsuit. He was first accused last week of sexual improprieties by a man who later recanted and said they had an “adult consensual relationship." That man has not filed a suit.