Kevin Clash, Elmo Puppeteer, Resigns from Sesame Street

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Kevin Clash resigned from Sesame Street today.

The voice of Elmo on Sesame Street, who has been in the news over the last couple weeks for all the wrong reasons, Clash settled a lawsuit a few days ago with a man who claimed he and the actor engaged in a sexual relationship when the accuser was 16 and Clash was 45.

Now, a second man has come forward and filed a second lawsuit, this one claiming he first interacted with Clash via a gay phone call in 1993; at the time, this accuser was 15 and Clash was 32.

Clash and Elmo

Said the studio behind Sesame Street in a statement this morning:

"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."

Clash has voiced Elmo for decades. He was profiled in a 2011 documentary titled “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey" and a new puppeteer is expected to fill his role on the series immediately.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.