Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo, has resigned in the wake of allegations that he had inappropriate sexual relationships.
TMZ broke the story Tuesday about a second allegation against Clash, reporting that Cecil Singleton is suing Clash for having a sexual relationship with him as an underage boy when Singleton was 15 and Clash was 32.
Clash's first accuser, now 23, said last week that he had a sexual relationship with Clash as a 16-year-old boy when Clash was 45, and Clash then took a leave of absence. The next day the accuser recanted his story, saying the relationship actually happened when he was a legal adult. Sesame Workshop said it was pleased the matter was closed.
Today Clash resigned, releasing the following statement:
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.
Sesame Workshop 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 wants, 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.
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Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a first grader and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.