Sesame Street says the man who voices Elmo has resigned. Kevin Clash has been surrounded by controversy, after allegations of sexual assault.
A second accuser just came forward this week, and filed a lawsuit, claiming Clash sexually abused him starting at age 15. Earlier this month, the first accuser's allegations came to light, of an inappropriate relationship while he was a teenager. But he recanted them. Clash said that relationship was consensual and between two adults.
Since then, there have been reports that the first accuser took back his recanting and stands by his accusations. Clash has been the life of Elmo for 28 years.
In a written statement, Sesame producers said quote:
"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."
Executives in charge of Sesame Street say the show was unaffected by Clash's recent leave of absence and presumably will not be affected by his resignation.
Clash released the following written statement through his publicst:
"I am resigning from Sesame Workshop with a very heavy heart. I have loved every day of my 28 years working for this exceptional organization. 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."